World Bulletin / News Desk
A group of Mexicans who served with the US military in Vietnam and Iraq only to be deported held a Veterans Day protest on Saturday in the border city Ciudad Juarez.
"We served a country that has cheated us," said Jose Francisco Lopez Moreno, 64. Many Mexicans have served in the US military in exchange for expedited residency.
But these veterans were deported for committing crimes, despite risking their lives in far-flung combat.
"It is so unfair. They separated us from our families, and we are alone here with no health care or assistance of any kind," said Lopez, who served in Vietnam but was deported to Mexico in 2004. Veterans in the United States receive pensions and health care.
Local officials estimate there are about 300 deportees.
"For as long as I live, even if I die on this side, I will always love the US flag. That was my life," said Ivan Ocon, who served in Iraq in 2003 but last year was deported to his homeland.
"It was like having a house come crashing down on top of you, to have them turn their backs on you after all that," he added.
"You think that you would not be deported because you were part of something so great, but in the end, they throw you out just the same," he said.
"We want to go back. That's what we are asking Donald Trump. We fought for your country," he said.
Trump has brought US-Mexican ties to their lowest point in many decades, seeking to build a border wall he first said he would force Mexico to fund. He later backtracked on that idea.
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It is still a wide-open race to succeed President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is deeply unpopular heading into the final stretch of his six-year term in a Mexico beset by endless corruption scandals and record levels of violent crime.
His comments came as he faces criticism from survivors of the attack over his ties to the powerful National Rifle Association, and after several thousand rallied in Florida to demand urgent action on gun control.
Temer came to the city to meet Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, several ministers and General Walter Souza Braga Netto, who will lead the operation and who was in charge of coordinating security when the city hosted the 2016 Olympic Games.
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