Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Valenzuela-Rodriguez, A U.S. Marine Veteran Voted In Colorado Despite Being Considered A Non-citizen By DHS

Jesus Manuel Valenzuela-Rodriguez

Photo: Facebook

A Vietnam U.S Veteran considered a non-citizen by the U.S. Homeland Security Department voted in Tuesday's election.

By H. Nelson Goodson
November 6, 2012

Colorado Springs, CO - On Tuesday, U.S. Marine Veteran Jesus Manuel Valenzuela-Rodriguez, 59, and his brother a U.S. Army Veteran, Valente Valenzuela, 62, both in full dress uniform walked into the First Methodist Church in Colorado Springs for Valenzuela-Rodriguez to cast his vote. Valenzuela-Rodriguez had vowed to vote, despite being considered a non-citizen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and an attempt to oust him from the voter registration list in Colorado.
The Valenzuela brothers had faced deportation to Mexico, but their immigration cases have been placed on hold due to DHS inability to prove they are not U.S. Citizens. Valenzuela-Rodriguez could face a felony charge for voting, if the DHS decides to prosecution him. Although, it's unlikely DHS will prosecute because both the Valenzuela brothers are U.S. Citizens, eventhough they hold a permanent residency card.
They have challenged the DHS non-citizen status concerning their citizenship afforded to them by their late mother who was a U.S. Citizen born in New Mexico.
On September 12, Valenzuela-Rodriguez was notified by the El Paso County Office of the Clerk and Recorder that DHS had sent a list of registered voting non-citizens to the Colorado Secretary of State, which included his name.
Valenzuela-Rodriguez challenged the DHS non-citizen notification with the State of Colorado by providing documents that he is an U.S. Citizen and succeeded to be recognized as an American by the state clearing his way to exercise his right to vote in Colorado.
"The State of Colorado says I am a Citizen of America and I can vote. I showed all my documents and they took copies, and for once in 7 years of hell, I was told welcome home you are a Citizen of America. So now, I will exercise my rights and who stops me, will have to answer. For, I am an American Citizen," Valenzuela-Rodriguez posted on his Brothers Valenzuela Facebook page.
On October 12, both Valenzuela-Rodriguez and his brother Valente from Colorado addressed and spoke about the issue of the banished U.S. Veterans at the University of Texas El Paso Campus in El Paso, Texas. The Valenzuelas who have become advocates for deported Veterans had faced the threat of deportation themselves for misdemeanor crimes, but were able to stay in the U.S., until their immigration case gets resolved. The Valenzuelas were born in Mexico to a U.S. Citizen mother from New Mexico. Their father was a Mexican national, but later legalised and became a U.S. Citizen. By birth right to a U.S. Citizen in another country, their born children become automatically U.S. Citizens, according to federal law. Also, they have lived in the U.S. for more than ten years, thus certifying their citizenship.
Since then, they have learned of hundreds of Veterans facing deportation or who have been deported regardless of their contributions and honorable service in the armed forces protecting the freedom of Americans and the U.S. Constitution. 
In 2011, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) figures confirmed that at least 3,000 War Veterans were in process of being deported to their native countries.
The Valenzuela brothers have put forth the issue of the deportation of U.S. Veterans in the national political ring, despite President Barack H. Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney's exclusion of the issue in their debates or in their current campaigns for U.S. President.
On October 13, a group of U.S. Deported Veterans led by Army Veteran Hector Barajas opened the first U.S. Deported Veterans Support House (Safehouse) in El Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico to help other deported Veterans from the U.S. ajust to being dislocated and facing removal trauma caused by DHS and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when separating families.

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