Milton Tepeyac spent eight years as a United States Marine, fighting for America. Now he's stuck in Mexico and can't come home because the United States deported him.
Turns out years before Milton enlisted in the military to fight for his country, he was brought to America as a toddler ... illegally. His parents were Mexican immigrants. Illegal immigrants.
Did you know the United States military allows illegal immigrants to enlist?
Did you know that people who are considered good enough to fight for our nation aren't considered good enough for citizenship?
Let me back up. Tepeyac's story has gone viral in the last few days thanks to the Washington Post, which documented the details leading up to his deportation. He's not completely innocent here. He was arrested after agreeing to act as in interpreter at a drug deal that turned out to be a police sting.
He was charged with felony “possession of marijuana for sale” and was sentenced to four years in an Arizona prison. Tepeyac openly admits it was a stupid thing to do, and he served his time in prison.
Four years behind bars.
And then they deported him, a United States Marine, who spent eight years fighting for America.
If it wasn't in a paper as reputable as the Post, I wouldn't believe it. Come on! This guy fought for our nation! He's shown pretty much the highest order of devotion to country that there is! How can he NOT be considered an American? How can he be deported?
While I certainly think that Tepeyac should pay for his crimes (and as noted above, he did), I can't help but react in horror to the news that our country will allow someone to fight for us ... only to turn around and kick them out.
What does it say about our nation that we'll allow someone to put their life on the line for us, but when push comes to shove, we don't have their back?
Currently there is something in the works to protect people like Milton Tepeyac. The DREAM Act, should it ever pass, would protect children under age 15 who were brought to America by their parents -- kids who really had no ability to say, "Hey Mom, Dad, let's not do this" -- to obtain citizenship. Notably, one of the paths to citizenship is through military service.
Unfortunately, the DREAM Act continues to die in Congress, leaving people who will don a military uniform and serve with honor for our country at risk of being kicked out, sent away from the only home they've ever known, the home they loved enough to fight for.
Unfortunately, we are a country that turns its back on the very people who step forward for us.
Do you believe military service should qualify someone for automatic citizenship? Is this right?