Does honorable service earn noncitizen vets a 2nd chance to call US home?

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Hector Barajas, founder of the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana, Mexico, walks through the gates at the Mexico-U.S. border on June 2, 2016, where he was meeting U.S. immigration officials for fingerprinting. Barajas, a deported veteran, is being considered for citizenship. 	 Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes
From Stripes.com
Hector Barajas, founder of the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana, Mexico, walks through the gates at the Mexico-U.S. border on June 2, 2016, where he was meeting U.S. immigration officials for fingerprinting. Barajas, a deported veteran, is being considered for citizenship. Dianna Cahn/Stars and Stripes

Does honorable service earn noncitizen vets a 2nd chance to call US home?

by: Dianna Cahn | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: July 22, 2016
TIJUANA, Mexico — On a Thursday morning in early June in this border town, 82nd Airborne veteran Hector Barajas-Varela donned his maroon beret, tucked his pants into his Corcoran jump boots — with an apology that they weren’t spit-shined — and steeled his nerves.
 
The 39-year-old grabbed his cane, locked the glass doors of the small shelter he runs for deported veterans and headed to the border to meet with a U.S. Customs and Immigrations Services official for fingerprinting.
 
This is a big deal for Barajas-Varela, who was deported permanently from the United States in 2009.
 
Born in Mexico, he came to the U.S. when he was 7 and grew up in a rough, racially tense southern California neighborhood. When he was old enough, he joined the Army, which made him eligible for citizenship.