A Marine Corps veteran faces the possibility of deportation by the U.S. government, despite evidence that he’s a legal citizen, the Tuscon Sentinel reports.
George Ybarra, who served in the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. Because of his condition, Ybarra hasn’t always been on the right side of the law. In 2011, for instance, he fired a gun round when an officer came to his place of residence, an incident which he blames on a delusional episode he had due to his PTSD.
He was arrested, jailed, and upon release this year, suddenly and without warning, detained by immigration police. Ybarra began his sentence in 2011, and was told back then he could be deported — now, six years later, the threat of deportation looms over his head again.
The threat of deportation is nothing new to him. Ybarra, a third-generation American, has been the victim of detention by immigration authorities for the better part of the past decade. Because he himself was born in Mexico while his mother was visiting across the border (Ybarra was raised in Phoenix), he frequently gets harassed to prove his immigration status — which he has done on numerous occasions.
Ybarra has what is called “derivative immigration status,” although he was unaware of it until a few years ago. He is an American citizen through another citizen’s status, in this case his mother and grandfather.
In fact, a federal judge ruled just after his conviction in 2011 for assault that he was, indeed, a citizen.
The U.S. government, however, appealed that decision, and upon his release this year he was detained by ICE agents. His case is now under review, and he is currently locked up in a federal detention center awaiting a decision.
Immigration arrests have gone up exponentially under President Donald Trump. Unlike his predecessor, President Barack Obama, ICE agents have gone after law-abiding immigrants as well as those who have committed serious crimes. But in Ybarra’s case, they have detained a citizen of the United States, and intend to do their best to remove him from our nation, regardless of his legal right to live here.