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    White House Initiative Leaves Deported Veterans in Limbo

    White House Initiative Leaves Deported Veterans in Limbo

    ANTONIO — Marcelino Ramos said he joined the U.S. Marines Corps at 17 because he felt a duty to serve and because a recruiter in a pressed-blue uniform promised him citizenship. Ramos, now 54, had no idea that the country he swore to protect would deport him.

    Ramos went on to serve in the Gulf War and after he completed four years of service, he returned to his family and home in Texas.

    Ramos, who has , was arrested for a felony conviction that stemmed from a domestic violence incident in 2009. He said he tried to fight the charges but his public defender advised him to take a two-year plea deal.

    But Ramos didn't realize his conviction would put him on the radar of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which eventually found him and deported him because he was never granted citizenship.

    Hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign-born U.S. veterans convicted of crimes have been deported. Despite President Joe Biden's promise to bring them back, only about 50 veterans, including Ramos, have returned under a 2021 executive order.

    Advocates and immigration attorneys say Biden's policy is a temporary fix that fails to find deported veterans and protect those still living in the U.S. from being forced out and possibly killed or recruited by criminal organizations looking to profit from their skill sets.

    “Being deported is a death sentence to any U.S. veteran,” Ramos said. “This is my home, my family…

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