Season Two, Episode 08 – Banished Veterans, Part II

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PUBLIC SPEAKER: Welcome to Friendship Park. We’ll begin our celebration at about one 30. You’re all welcome to participate or to observe. 

HECTOR BARAJAS: So right now we’re in friendship Park where El Fardo Church. And this is where the– basically there’s a wall that separates the United States and Mexico and actually goes into the ocean. And from 10-2, we actually, they actually let the families come and meet. But you can barely– the only thing you can do is just kind of stick your finger through and that’s how people greet. It’s a good place for people to meet and talk to their family members. Some people I haven’t seen there. Families in years since they’re not able to cross, this is the only place where they can meet. Okay. What was your name again? Alright, Hector. Okay, there you go. Alright.

Well today is Day of the Dead, Dia De Los Muertos.. One of the altars that we put up is aboutdeported ported veterans. Men who have died and the only way they’ve been able to return home is either in a casket or in a really urgent emergency. Where that’s the only way we’re able to go home.

So that’s who we put the altar up for today. And we meet a lot of different activists. A lot of media come through here and that’s how we’re able to raise awareness. That’s why I throw on the uniform. This is Enrique Morones, he the founder of Border Angels. Oh, what’s up man? Border Angels. Yeah. Yeah. How’s it going? 

Enrique Morones: Well, you know, our group is called Border Angels. We’re best known for putting water in the desert to save migrant lives. We’ve been around for 29 years and I’m the founder of the organization. And I’ve been coming to Friendship Park since it opened in the seventies. And on the first Sunday of the month, which is today we have immigration attorneys that come and do consulting for people that have been deported. So for us, this is a very significant place cuz of this wall is a shame.

And it’s caused 11,000 , deaths. And this is the heart and soul of the immigration debate, friendship Park. Started in 1971 by First Lady Pat Nixon. There’s a picture of her reaching across the wires. There was no wall, saying there’d never be a wall between these two great countries. A 2000 mile border. A third of it has wall. Most people don’t– have no idea about the wall. How is it possible that people that have fought for this country or signed up to fight for this country, are deported suddenly? And that’s why the deported veterans are a very important part of our network, and we do a lot of actions here to bring that attention. People don’t realize that this is going on in this country right now. Have no idea.

PUBLIC SPEAKER: We’ll see you soon.

HECTOR BARAJAS: Well, my name is Hector Bajas-Varela, and we’re at the Deported Veteran Support House. We call it the bunker. And we’re in Tijuana, Mexico, Baja, California. Right now we’re in a bathroom slash room. And we caught the bat cave. And this is where I got my little computer there and I work out of, in little quiet, quiet place where I can talk to my daughter and those kind of things. I’ve been at three different locations, started outta my apartment, ended up downtown. And then from downtown we ended up over here. We’ve been here almost a little bit over a year. I get probably three vets a week.

It varies. It could be a guy that’s being deported, like we got one guy that’s being deported out of Texas. And another guy that was deported to Senegal, Africa. We have veterans deported to different countries. So we have a variety of different people. We have guys in Costa Rica, in Germany. Guys deported to Bosnia, India, Jamaica, Trinidad, just all these different parts of the world.

All the way up from the Vietnam War to current Iraq and Afghanistan. So there was guys that were drafted in the sixties that were sent to combat, and then when they came back and got in trouble. They were deported. Every once in a while we get somebody that’ll message just through Facebook or word of mouth. But it’s not like we’re a huge organization throughout the deportation centers or the community.

What happened was I ended up, whenever veterans were deported through what this little small community that we’re connected with. I ended up just taking ’em and they would send ’em and I would– they would stay with me. And so ever since 2009, I’ve had different people come and stay with me and some have come back to the United States through whatever ways they needed to. And some guys have stayed in Mexico.

We ended up figuring out that we can’t just take people in just for the hell of it. You have to have a program, you have to have rules. Everything’s gotta become formalized from even the guy signing in to lights out at 10. Like in the military or in prison. Gotta be transitional. So we help out the men for a certain amount of time, depending on their economic situation. They can stay here longer. Sometimes we get donations of clothing, food. We have volunteer, psychologist counselor that comes in twice a month. A lot of media outreach.

SAMPLE: After six years of serving in the military with high hopes of becoming a citizen, Barajas had a run-in with the law. Since 2001, more than 100,000 immigrants have become citizens after serving in the military, but it’s not automatic, and some veterans have been deported.

HECTOR BARAJAS: We’re just gonna give you guys a quick tour. This is our little office, and we have various stations because we work with different groups. Some of the things that you’ll see up here are like dog tags over there to the left dog tags of some of the men that have been through this place. And this is another flag that we have where some of the men– whenever I meet one of the new guys, they’ll have him– they’ll come and sign their name there or whatever they want to put up. Probably the flag of shame for us. And upstairs we’ll go and go upstairs. This is the living quarters. So this is where we all eat together.

Depending on– sometimes the men will eat outside or if they– some of the guys are working. But this is where the guys sleep at. They, there’s a workstation that we’re putting out, so some of them and are gonna be able to work through a call center. we can have up to four or five guys. It just varies. Right now, we only have two men. Some guys have stayed up to eight months and they haven’t had like, a huge traffic of guys. That’s why we had men stay up for a very long time. So here you see Felix and his son. Well, Felix also served in the military. And his son is here visiting from LA.

FELIX: My name let me lower this down. My name is Felix. I’ve always been deported in 2001. Tried to go back in 2010 and I got arrested, went to jail. And I’m back over here. And this support housing been helping me out a lot. 

PRODUCER: What age were you when you first came to the States? 

FELIX: I don’t know. I must have been like four or five I guess. I was pretty small. Cause at my dad’s house when I was a little kid, my dad used to buy me like army toys. Even my BB gun was Army. When the recruiters started hitting the high schools, I just had to go. I guess maybe my dad introduced me to that. So that’s how it was. When I was in the Army, three or four year contract, right. My dad was misbehaving. He was like kind of mistreating my mom wrong. So my mom told me that I had to go home. And I told her I, I couldn’t go home cause I signed this contract. And I told my sergeant, how is it, how can I go home?

And he goes, the only way you could go home, you tell the captain you can’t adapt to military life and you gotta stick to that. When I went to talk Captain (name). I went in there I saluted him and he said, what I want. And I told him, I can’t adapt to military life. So he started drumming his fingers on the desk. And he asked me again, and he goes, what do you wanna do? I, I said, I can’t adapt to military life. The third time he told me, he goes, I’m gonna give you a general discharge and in six months it’s gonna turn honorable. And that’s what happened. And I became an inactive reserves for three years.

When I got arrested in 98 in Provo, Utah, I was drunk with my friends driving the car. They pulled us over and I said, I can’t get arrested cuz my girlfriend’s eight and a half months pregnant. So I tried to get away. I got into a really bad fight with the cops. Bad high speed chase. If I would’ve just gotten arrested, I would just gotten arrested. You know what I mean? Just for being drunk. I didn’t wanna go to jail. I could’ve probably ended up going to county time and maybe released. It just got outta hand. It just got outta hand. You know what I mean? At first they tried to gimme 20 years, but ended up doing three years.

After I got my sense, like a week or two later, I get a paper, said that I have an INS hold. That’s when reality hit me, you know? I called my dad and I told my dad, I have an INS hold. They’re gonna, deport me back to Mexico. My dad goes, I brought you over here so you won’t be selling tacos, won’t be suffering in Mexico. And now you have an INS hold. Two weeks later, my baby girl was born, my youngest. So the mother brought the baby to me. But it’s a glass, when you’re county jail, it’s a glass and you can’t touch the person.

And she goes, Hey, here’s your baby. What do you want me to name her? I turn (name), and that’s where I named her. And then I haven’t seen her since. Feel all this guilt and all this heavy on me cuz I only saw her just right there I didn’t even get to hold her. And it’s just a struggle. After I served my time in 98, they shipped me to Colorado. To a federal detention. And then right there I got my DD two 14. Try to fight it in court. DD fourteens you like, your military records didn’t help me or none. I even pissed off the judge.

He goes, why do you wanna get deported? I told him, England. And he goes, England. And he said, why England? And he goes, you’re from Mexico? And I said, when the fuck you asked me? Get this guy outta here. I got deported. And I went to Sinaloa. I tried to cross in 2010 through Mexico. I made it across his ranch, but it was like they got helicopters, sensors and everything. When I was arrested, one Mexican cop came and he saw my tattoo and he goes, Hey, so I went over, he goes, put your hand on this computer. You know what I mean? I put my hand, everything came out. He goes, yeah, you’re gonna catch the chain.

PRODUCER: Did you ever try it again? 

FELIX: No, I’m not gonna try it again. I’m gonna try the legal way now, through get my DD214, my paperwork. Try and do the right way. Yeah, I broke the law, but I also serve your country, you know what I mean? You raise up your hand, the same thing as people going for the citizenship. What do they do? They raise their hand for the flag, and then we did the same thing. You serve the military, that means you’re part of the country. And may, maybe that’s why I suffer a lot. You know what I mean? It’s like they don’t want you over there and you come over here and, and your Spanish is not that good and they don’t want you over here. You know what I mean? It’s like, where are you gonna be at or where are you gonna do with your life?

For me, it’s been a struggle. This is, it helped me out a lot. It’s a good place because they help you. Cuz before I came here, I was living this place with 150 people. It’s called Mission La Roca. I was living there and then this guy that was still here before, he brought me over here and this been, this place’s been good to me. That gave me a lot of chances. The one time, this one man told me, don’t blame a person, blame the government.

But who is the government? Isn’t the government full of persons? They don’t have a heart. They don’t know what really– how they separate– how families are being separated. They don’t really know. They just– what they was shown to ’em in paper. They have to be there to see the suffering. That’s how I felt. I mean, living in the streets, and I, and I put it together just here at the bunker.

HECTOR BARAJAS: Some of the guys, they’re permanently damaged for the rest of their life, psychologically, maybe physically, or emotionally. So not enough support, I think that’s in general. Even having the camaraderie of just getting together, just hanging out. And there’s some guys that don’t have family here. So just even have– that can sometimes get you to through the next day. There’s so many things that we gotta have in place with these guys because you’re in a new country. Like right now, Felix, he’s going through very hard times. So we gotta find him a place to get himself well. So he is going to a rehab center. We have a veteran that we’re working to get him a new place. We gotta have these places ready, not just here in Mexico, but at other countries as well. In the veteran community there we’re supposed to leave no man behind. So we’re trying to instill that. We still are a band of brothers and we wore the uniform, so we’re gonna try to take care of each other.

DANIEL TORRES: Right now we are about 15 minutes from the border. I’ll say like, 20 miles from the border. Immigration politics, they’re way too complicated. I don’t have a solution for it. I don’t, I could tell you that we should just erase the border and live all happily. But that’s not gonna happen. And I’m probably be telling you that because I’m on this side of the border. So my opinion is biased. The thing is that Americans don’t realize that immigration problem is not an American problem, it’s a global problem.

It’s a global issue. Donald Trump wants to build a freaking wall. If you don’t have any Mexicans, then who the fucks gonna build it? Because whether you like it or not, American economy is only sustainable by that cheap immigrant labor. Will you imagine 20 year old white boys picking fruit for $8 an hour? I don’t see it. I don’t see it. Because if you want to not stop the immigration, but at least minimize it, slow it down, then you need to make it so people here in Mexico can live happy and prosperous.

They cannot, I see it every day. Mexico’s on the brink of a civil war and people don’t realize that. My name is Daniel Torres. I’m a former US Marine and Iraq vet. And I’ve been living in Tijuana for the last four years. I was born in Tijuana, grew up pretty poor, in a poor area of the city, it was kind of ghetto. And back then my dad would cross the border every day and just commute from Tijuana to the states. After like five years doing that, Tijuana got really dangerous with the whole drug law and all that.

AUDIO CLIP:  It continues to flow. Million dollar rewards are now being offered for the Tijuana drug busts assault, rifles ready, extra clips of ammo taped in place. 

DANIEL TORRES: So my parents wanted to move. They decided to move to the United States. And they settled on Salt Lake City, Utah, because that’s where my aunt lived. I really didn’t think about it back then at all. I was 13, 14 years old. I was more worried about getting a girlfriend than where I was gonna live, to be honest. We entered the country legally because back then my father had a working visa. So we had social security numbers. I had my visa, I had everything, but it was as a minor.

So when I turned 18, it was no longer good for me. I still have my social security number, but it was not valid for work without a permit. So I was kind of stuck in limbo. I couldn’t get student loan, I couldn’t ask for any kind of benefits. I couldn’t legally work. After high school, I started working under the table for this company, this other company, just kind of like here and there. I work as a waiter.

I worked in group homes, office cleaning, computer land center. I mean, just wherever they wouldn’t care about my legal status, and there’s a lot of places. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was 19, 20 years old and that’s one of the things that made me join the Marine Corps because I didn’t know what to do. I figured four years in the military I might find out what I want to do with my life. I didn’t want to just be another illegal, I didn’t wanna be just another Mexican living in the States. I actually wanted to do something that I could be proud of. I wanted to be able to say, , I put my 2 cents in. I served the country.

I did something. I’m not just here to leech. I didn’t want to be that stereotype. So when the opportunity came to join the Marine Corps, I took it. I was young, I didn’t think about it through, I wanted to be a Marine, and that’s as far as I thought of it. I enlisted as a United States citizen and that was a problem. I lied about my citizenship. This was back in 2007. Iraq war was really tough back then, so they just needed to fill quotas as much as possible. I talked to the recruiter and he’s all like, do you have your social security number? Yeah. You have your high school diplomat.

Yeah. Any criminal background, no criminal background, any medical issues, physical issues? No, I’m good to go. What about your birth certificate? And I’m like, well, it’s from Mexico. And he just look at me. He’s like, hmm, okay. Come back Monday. So I came back Monday and by Thursday I was in bootcamp. There’s a saying that there’s– in the Marine Corps, there’s no black, white, brown, or Asian. You are all equal shit. Recruits, you are all going to fucking go through the same thing. And I was deployed to Iraq, outside of Fallujah, and (city name). This was in ’09. 

AUDIO CLIP: The final battle preparations here near Fallujah. Continue, both Iraqi and US troops are ready, themselves.

DANIEL TORRES: When you signed up, you knew they were gonna deploy. That’s something from day one. You know you were gonna go to Iraq. If you joined the Marine Corps infantry thinking that you were not gonna go to combat cell, you’re dumb. I was okay with it, I was nervous. Everybody was, but we’re there to follow orders. And that’s the Marine Corps mentality. Your opinion on the war, that doesn’t matter. It’s not important cuz you’re gonna do it anyway. I remember we got there and it’s just this 16 man observation post in the middle of a road. In the middle of the fucking desert. Absolutely nothing.

It’s just flat sand everywhere, and I’m standing there thinking, shit, this place is gonna suck. Sandstorms, goddamn heat. And then on top of all that shit, I was a company driver. Not only did I have to do my patrols and my posts and my duties, but at the end of the day, I had to climb up on a seven ton or a humvee or an mrap and do resupplying, do transportation, do whatever. We were in the process of falling back and leaving everything to the Iraqi army. We did have some issues with snipers and IUD’s.

AUDIO CLIP: A detonator, wired to lights, a remote control, and a cable that ran to the nearby mosque.

DANIEL TORRES: The most stressful part would be the clearing routes. Let’s say you have a general or a colonel, that’s gonna drive from point A to point B. So a couple hours before you drive, you send two, three vehicles. If an IUD blows up, route’s clear. If IUD doesn’t blow up. Route’s clear. That was the most stressful shit because we were just there to see if anything was gonna go down so somebody else could pass safely. I was kind of like the guy that got piled all the work on, cause I was a company driver.

I wanted to see something out of my hard work. And in my company, I knew I wasn’t going to get any more rank. I was gonna get kind of stuck, terminal lens kind of thing. So I was like, screw that, I’ll go somewhere else. And I volunteered for one year deployment to Afghanistan. I liked military life. It was something that suited me with something that was good for me and I was making good money. So I was thinking about doing career.

I went to my company for Sergeant. I told ’em I wanna sign up. They sent me to Camp Del Mar in Pendleton. And I was there three months. We were getting ready to deploy and it was through my pre-deployment leave that I lost my wallet. As pre-deployment leave I went to Vegas. And one morning I wake up after going out all night, and then I’m like, I don’t have my wallet. I don’t have my .Wallet and I search everywhere and my wallet was gone. And it wasn’t the money or the debit card or the credit card. It was the IDs. In Utah, you could get driver’s license, you could get a an id. You could get those kinds of permits.

Even if you weren’t a resident. Back then, the law allowed that. But then the law changed and you weren’t. You couldn’t get a, a driver’s license anywhere, any state? Not that I knew of. So in the process of me getting my IDs, driver’s license, state id, it came up that, hey, your driver’s license information says you were born in Mexico. But your military service information says you were born in Kansas City, Missouri. So that doesn’t fit. So what’s going on?

When I got back to base, my staff sergeant called me to his office. And was like, hey, what’s, what’s going on with this red flag that you don’t have proof of residency. But you sign up as a citizen? So which one is it? What’s going on here? And that’s when I basically told him the whole story and that I was Mexican born. He just look at me and he is like, well, you’ve already been red flag. We have to report it. So they got kind of freaked out that this guy’s illegal. We don’t know who he is. And yet he knows where we’re gonna be and what we’re gonna be doing once deployed, it was a huge risk for them. They arrested me and they took me to interrogation.

I was there like four hours. They sit you in the room and the first thing they do is they send in a very cute girl. Cuz we’re Marines and we’re dumb. She’s like, well, we’re going to have to do some questions. Is that okay? Because we need to get the story straight for us to know what’s going to happen, blah, blah, blah. Long story short, they have me sign– waive right to attorney. As soon as that was signed, cute girl leaves and two guys come in, obviously. Duh. And they started questioning me over and over. Who? What’s your name? So where are you from? Can you tell me your name again? Can you tell me where you’re from? Who knew? How did you enlist? Who knew that you enlisted? Did your recruiter help you? Who in the recruiter office knew?

Well, what about your family? We need to know everybody that knew about this. They tried to get guys from my platoon. That was the last straw because these guys were the ones that I had spent the last three years with. That I had deployed with, and this assholes are trying to get me to throw them under the bus with me.

So finally after like four hours of question, I got pissed and I told him, look, I know my life as a marine is over, I know that I’m not dumb. But if you think I’m going to say something that’s gonna ruin the lives or the careers of my brothers, you’re fucking high. Now my unit was going to deploy again and they wanted me to deploy with them. They wanted me to be radioman for the platoon. And the Marine Corps said, no, he’s not deployable status. He can’t go anywhere. And I was three and a half years into my service by then.

They decided what to do. And they were like, we’re just going to discharge you. You’re gonna lose your GI bill, you’re gonna get a general honorable conditions. If you stay out of trouble, you might get it upgraded. We’re not gonna press charges. We’re not gonna turn you to immigration because you have a good record. We don’t wanna fuck you over. So you’re gonna get out and when you’re a civilian, figure it out on your own. Taking into an account that I did commit enlistment fraud, and that I wasn’t gonna jail and that I wasn’t going to immigration, I thought I was a win win. I left the Marine Corps February of 2011.

I went back to Salt Lake City, Utah. That year was really hard for me because I got kicked out of the Marine Corps. I was not being able to get a job. I couldn’t get my GI bill. I went to the VA and the VA said, well you’re gonna have your benefits and your disability, but, legal status, we can’t do anything. I kind of got fed up. I kind of got motivated and I said, fuck it. I picked up my stuff. I grabbed all my stuff and I left.

First, I came back to Tijuana because I needed a Mexican passport, and then I went to France. I knew about the French Foreign Legion because a friend of mine told me about it while we were still in service. He would go out on missions with the French Foreign Legion and how the French Foreign Legion would accept anyone. So I looked them up and yeah, you can go to Paris in enlist no matter what country you come from, even if you don’t speak French. So when I got to Paris, I had a backpack, a hundred Euros, about a week’s worth of clothes, and that was it. I had a flight back from Paris to Mexico just in case.

Cuz you had, you gotta have it for immigration purposes. So I got to Ft. Nausea. You go to the barracks and wait. And then the next day that you do a physical test and I passed it. And then the next day you do a medical exam and I failed that. I was disqualified for service in French Foreign Legion because of injuries sustained in the Marine Corps. I shot an AT4, which is a bazooka. And when I shot that, it fucked up my ear. 15% hearing loss of my left ear and permanent tinnitus. In the French Foreign Legion, they get like tens of thousands of people to apply for them a year.

So they, they can pick and choose who they want. So now I was in Paris, homeless, jobless, penniless. I was 25. I still have my ticket to fly back, so I’m like, I’ll just spend a week in Paris, and then fly back and take it from there. And on the fly back it was from Paris to Dublin, Ireland, and from Dublin to Mexico. When I got into Paris, I told them as a reason to enter Paris, I told ’em I was going to apply for the French Foreign Legion. And for some reason they didn’t stamp my passport. My entry into Paris. So when I arrive at Dublin, they saw the exit stamp, but they didn’t saw the entry stamp. So they thought that my Mexican passport was fake.

It fucking sucks cause I know it was a good passport. And the guy was just being a prick. He was like, well, I don’t believe you. I don’t think you’re Mexican. Say something in Spanish. So I started talking in Spanish. I tell him, go fuck yourself, motherfucker. They’re like, no, no, we’re gonna have to investigate this more. And this was late at night. So the Mexican embassy was closed and their immigration offices were closed. They deny me entering to Ireland. They arrest me, and this was late. It was 8:00 PM they throw me in jail. Irish jail sucks.

It’s like two meters by four meters. Just a yoga mat in the floor and a hole in the floor to shit in. Morning comes, it’s like eight in the morning. They take me to the immigration office, my flight lease at 11. I’m thinking they’re gonna figure it out and then I’m gonna be able to go back. I don’t see the guy until 10 in the morning. He calls the Mexican embassy. Finally says Your passport is real. Mexican Embassy has verified, but you’re still denied entry to Ireland. You’re gonna miss your flight. You’re not going to Mexico. I’m Mexican, have a passport.

You just said that. The embassy validated it. And I’m like, so what are you gonna do? We’re gonna deport you. You came from France, so we have to deport you to France. He’s like, that’s the law, so I gotta send you back. They handcuffed me, they take me to the plane, handcuffed. They sit me down. And the whole plane just kind of looking at me like, who the fuck is this guy? Right?

I arrive in Paris again, I went to the Mexican Embassy in Paris. I told ’em everything that happened and they’re like, well, we can help you out. Don’t worry about it. You just need to bring in a thousand euros. I spent two weeks working under the table for bars, restaurants, farmer’s, markets, hotels. Just kind of do doing regular cleaning, and that’s how I got a thousand euros. Two weeks later, they sent me all the way back to Tijuana. And I got to Tijuana and I was exhausted and I was done. I’m like, no more fucking adventures. That’s it. I’m gonna do something stable and secure. I talked to my grandmother, who’s the owner of this apartment, and she told me well, that’s the apartment. If you wanna live there, you can stay there.

You don’t have to pay rent, just pay the bills. That was three years ago. I’ve been living here since then.My uncle is an accountant at Simsa, which is a hospital. And that same place, the Deported Veterans Support House was asking for help to set up a health plan for the veterans. And they gave him a little pamphlet and my uncle saw Deported Veterans and he gave it to me. That was about a year ago, and that’s how I found out about Deported Veterans Support House, and I’ve been working with them ever since.

The biggest problem about Deported Veterans is that people don’t realize how big an issue this is. They don’t know that people get deported being a veteran. There are hundreds of veterans deported everywhere from Senegal to Haiti. Mexico, Bolivia, Vietnam, they’re all over the place and there’s no records of them. They just get treated by like any other deportee. We estimate their numbers on the thousands. It’s been happening years and years.

HECTOR BARAJAS: We’re always organizing, going to vigils and just– I’m always wearing my uniform. Even though I’m here in Mexico, I’ve had people tell me to take off my uniform and even deported vets. There’s no way I’m taking off my uniform. If I’m out there trying to tell people about what we’re doing I’m just Joe Schmoe with a fucking shirt on. Plus, I love my wearing my uniform. We’re gonna die as American veterans. I think we should be allowed to live as American veterans. So a lot of people are gonna say, well, no, you should– you committed a crime. Well, yeah, okay. We committed a crime. We paid our debt to society. We can argue all day about why they fucked up and why they shouldn’t go home. But if you’re gonna focus on that, then there’s– we don’t have nothing to talk about. 

DANIEL TORRES: A regular American citizen, you drink and drive, you have possession of firearm, you will go to jail, you will pay your due, and then you are free to go. A deported veteran you will pay your debt to society and then on top of that, you will still get deported. That’s not fair. That’s a double jeopardy, and I just hope I don’t have to pay for those mistakes for the rest of my life.

FELIX: I started writing poetry when I was in– like in the rehab. And the name of the poem is Somebody, anybody help me? Only the strong-minded will survive the deportation. It’s not easy surviving when you get deported from the US. Especially if you lose everything. Family, which is the most important. The material things come and go. It’s like a bad dream, but you’re living it for real. Just imagine being born in Mexico and your family takes you across the border to United States. You grew up finish high school, then you joined the armed forces. You serve your country. You know what? 

HECTOR BARAJAS: There’s no way I’m leaving this. This is my baby. I would like to see this grow not just to the guys here. Because the honest truth is legislation is not gonna change from one day to the next. And it’s not gonna happen in five years. Three years is gonna take a very long time, we know how Congress moves .While we get more people on board for these laws to change. We gotta have some kind of safety mechanism for these guys. So when they get deported, they have a place to go. 

FELIX: It’s too late. I says, maybe if I close my eyes, the wall will separate. The wall will disappear. No, it’s still there. Great big wall. Please. Somebody help anybody help me.

HECTOR BARAJAS: You guys, well they can’t see, but there’s probably about 50 American flags and whatnot. I’m, I’m an American at heart.

DANIEL TORRES: But these are not just any regular immigrants. It takes a very special person to join the military. It takes even more of a special person to join the military of a different country. You will not find somebody more loyal than us. We’re not just some foreigners who got deported. We’re Americans that are exiled.