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Army veteran may face deportation proceedings

A United States Army veteran and Reservist in the Navy is facing charges and potential deportation after a mishap while applying for a passport. The veteran is currently studying to be a nurse. The veteran thought he was born in the United States. He reportedly has a Florida birth certificate and a Social Security card.

While deployed to Guantanamo as a Navy reservist the man learned of a warrant for his arrest. He allegedly checked a box on a passport application saying he had not applied for a passport previously. The government says he made a partial application for a passport two years earlier. He was detained in Miami when US Immigration says they discovered the man is not a U.S. citizen. The man may now be facing potential prison and deportation and removal hearings.

The matter drew the attention Of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson from Florida. Senator Nelson said Wednesday on the Senate floor, "The U.S. military was certainly glad to consider him a citizen. The DREAM Act would allow the U.S, government to consider as a citizen someone like Elisha Dawkins who came to this country as a child and wanted to serve his country." The DREAM Act is a proposal that offers a pathway to permanent residency for undocumented high school graduates who pursue a college degree or enlist for service in the United States armed forces.

The man reportedly was born in the Bahamas. His mother brought him to the United States as a child. The Army veteran and Navy reservist's mother has already been deported.

WXIA-TV spoke to an Atlanta resident who served in the Navy reserves with the detained veteran. The Atlanta resident says the detained veteran "has done more for this country than most people will in their lifetimes and he's a young man. The fact that he has gone to the front lines to fight for our country. The government needs to say this is a mistake."

Source: WXIA-TV, "U.S. Army Vet faces deportation," Ted Hall 30 Jun 2011

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