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I felt very sad and angry after reading the story of 23 year-old Yardlin Jimenez of the Domincan Republic. She is a subject for deportation because she entered the US illegally back in 2001.
The sad story is that her husband, Specialist Alex Jimenez, 25, has been listed as missing in action in Iraq since May 12th. He was one of three U.S. soldiers captured in Iraq’s notorious "Triangle of Death." Alex applied for a green card for his wife several years ago. The government found out that his wife entered the country illegally, and wants her expelled.
The fact that she was "illegal" is irrelevant. It would be the same for me if my car insurance or registation lapsed. If for a while , I was driving my car illegally- but never caught-then bought insurance and registered my car, I would then be "legal" and my prior illegality would not be held against me.
Given the fact of the extenuating circumstances of her husband, deporting Mrs. Jimenez at this juncture would be a cruel and inhumane act. It would render the "support our troops" slogan meaningless. If any illegal alien deserves amnesty in this country, Mrs. Jimenez should be the top choice.
In the past, America showed its gratitude to foreign nationals who risked their lives by helping the U.S. and its citizens, by granting them legal residency status. Case in point:
In late 1980s, the U.S. granted residency status to a Lebanese citizen and his entire family for helping Federal agents capturing a TWA hijacker overseas. The hijacker was lured into a boat ride from Beirut to Laranca, Cyprus.
In 2003, as U.S. forces were marching toward Baghdad , an Iraqi nurse who helped care for Private Jessica Lynich in a hospital, donated her own blood to save Jessica’s life, and tipped U.S. troops twice to come and pick Jessica up. The nurse was later whisked to Kuwait with her husband and eventually came to live in the U.S.A.
Support our troops means you honor those who risked their lives for the safety and defense of America, look after their loved ones, and give them the protection and moral support they need and deserve.
As a veteran and a father of a U.S. soldier who served in Iraq, my heart goes to Mrs. Jimenez. For God’s sake, don’t deport Mrs. Jimenez! Let her stay.
MAHMOUD EL-YOUSSEPH (TSGT / USAF [Ret.]) lives in Ohio.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org