3/9/2017 Associated Press
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — After manning a machine gun on a combat helicopter as a U.S. Marine during the liberation of Kuwait, Antonio Romo came back to the United States traumatized by the death and carnage he saw.
He says he turned to alcohol and narcotics to try to quiet the nightmares, and made multiple suicide attempts. With addiction, he fell into dealing, and was arrested for selling cocaine. And after getting out of prison, Romo was deported in 2008 to Mexico, from where he had migrated to Lynwood, California, illegally at age 12.
Today he’s part of a group of dozens of U.S. military veterans, most of them former legal residents but noncitizens, who were deported after criminal convictions and who for years have tried to convince multiple administrations to let them return. They acknowledge committing serious crimes such as felony drug dealing, but argue that they did their time and being kicked out of the country amounts to being punished twice.