LatinaLista — Colorado Springs residents Manuel and Valente Valenzuela are brothers, Vietnam veterans, Mexican-Americans and facing deportation to Mexico — a country that by all rights is not their home.
Though the two men were born in Mexico over 60 years ago, their mother was an American citizen. They served in the United States military — Manuel in the Marines and Valente is a soldier. Serving in the military, with the medals to prove it, usually is enough proof to show any government where a soldier’s heart lies.
Manuel and Valente Valenzuela stand with their lawyer in describing their disbelief that the federal government wants to deport them to Mexico.
Obviously, not in this case.
For Manuel, the ordeal began five years ago. For Valente, it’s been a year and a half. Though details are sketchy, what is known is that the Department of Homeland Security is pursuing the brothers over minor crimes that were committed years ago.
In line with the government’s zeo tolerance policy and the quest to deport anyone born abroad who is considered a “criminal” because of past arrests, regardless of the degree of the crime committed, these two brothers find themselves the latest victims of the United States’ broken immigration policies.
Local news stations report that when the story first broke, the brothers were afraid nobody would care about their case. Slowly, organizations are coming to their defense.
A Facebook page has been set up and military veteran orgs have been contacted but nothing would help more than to ask the Department of Homeland Security why they are so willing to dishonor the service of two brothers who have always considered themselves Americans?