Deported US Army veteran becoming a US citizen

Posted at 9:06 AM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 12:06:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A U.S. Army veteran who was honorably discharged but then deported to Mexico after serving prison time for a shooting is becoming a U.S. citizen Friday.

Hector Barajas, is scheduled to be sworn-in as an American citizen at a ceremony in downtown San Diego.

Barajas was honorably discharged from the military in 2001, but he was deported in 2004 after a prison stint for shooting at a car with someone inside two years before.

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In 2017, Barajas was granted a full pardon by California Gov. Jerry Brown for a conviction that led to his deportation.

During his time in Mexico, Barajas founded the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana and has become an advocate for the more than 300 veterans who are facing the same situation.

Politician Nathan Fletcher, a military veteran himself, has worked with Barajas to get him back into the U.S. but said his mission in Mexico isn’t over.

“Hector's committed that even though he's going to get his citizenship, his work isn't done. He said he's going to spend another year in Tijuana as a U.S. citizen, with the ability to go back and forth but continuing the work that we all support,” said Fletcher.

RELATED: U.S. Army veteran fights to return after deportation

Barajas was born in Mexico but raised in Los Angeles since the age of seven. In 1992, he became a lawful permanent resident and, after graduating from high school, enlisted in the army in 1995.