Detained Army Veteran Becomes U.S. Citizen

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PROGRESO – The battle for an Army veteran facing deportation is coming to a close, as many other veterans face the same situation.

In 2015, Army veteran Francisco Belmares was headed home from the dentist in Progreso when four misdemeanors popped up on his record.

Belmarez was detained and threatened with deportation.

He spent two and a half months in detention until an immigration judge pardoned him.

Belmarez fears for what his future might hold and uses extra caution in his daily routine.

Veteran advocate, Mario Ybarra, says there isn’t enough support.

“This wouldn't be happening if the VA and the Department of Defense would do a better job in seeking out these individuals and letting them know there's help for you here,” says Ybarra.

Congressman Vicente Gonzalez tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS they’re working on it.

Gonzalez says he’s planning a campaign in McAllen to help legal permanent resident veterans who want to understand the citizenship process.

He tells us his office has identified veterans deported to at least 38 countries around the world.

For more information watch the video above.


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