Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Regarding David Beyer’s article in the May 1st edition of your fine paper, I must take exception to his asking for deported  non American veterans who served in the U.S. armed services being let back into the United States.

One, they had every opportunity during and after their service to become an American but apparently that wasn’t worth their effort.
Two, by his own admission, they were all arrested for something. Who needs them back?

Three, his “guess” that many of them broke the law due to PTSD due to their service is a wild guess. Very few soldiers even see battle.

Four, he wants them to get free education, and to be offered jobs. They had the GI Bill, and it didn’t make them better citizens, so what makes us think they’re going to go back to school now? And, anyone who wants a job in the US can find one. Before they’re even in the U.S., he’s begging for free stuff for them.

Four, he wants them to be allowed back into the country until their status is sorted out. Their status was sorted out, and they were proven to be illegal and criminals to boot.

Five, it’s not the United States’ fault or problem that these people are sometimes treated badly in Mexico.

So let’s not spend any more time/effort/money on people who have made very bad life decisions and are likely to commit more crimes and who’s goal from across the border is to access more free stuff.

Richard Fitzwell
Rosarito Beach

1 Comment

  1. Dear Mr. Fitzwell:

    As the publisher noted, “This is a subject that definitely has polarized opinions….”

    Prior to making the trip to Tijuana’s Deported Veterans Support House, with a group that included two veterans (one of whom was McCail Smith, Jr., whose efforts to assist veterans continues undaunted by criticism), I did some “independent research” on the subject.

    One of the articles I perused was posted by the American Civil Liberties Union. Their research covered deported veterans not only in Baja but also in mainland Mexico. They pointed out that in many cases, the deported veterans had initiated naturalization claims, but in some cases were denied, and in other cases experienced long delays resulting from “lost or misplaced” applications.

    In the case of the veterans hosted by Mr. Barajas at DVSH, Hector was honest and forthcoming by admitting that those under his care had, indeed, committed legal offenses that resulted in their deportation. However, the majority of those “crimes” were misdemeanors, hardly worthy of a lifetime of punishment.

    As for your assertion that PTSD being a cause for a veteran’s misconduct is a “wild guess,” I find that remark highly offensive. The fact is that most of the veterans involved in the cases I reported are Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan War veterans. Are you willing to back up your statement “Very few soldiers even see battle” with statistics?

    I personally know a number of veterans from Vietnam who suffered grave injuries and/or extremely traumatic experiences during that campaign.

    During the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, National Guard troops were deployed because the draft was no longer in effect, and the military wasn’t able to recruit enough volunteers to fulfill their personnel requirements.

    Afghanistan….come on. Even SeaBees returning from that campaign were awarded PTSD compensation!

    What disturbs me is NOT your blanket disdain for veterans who are seeking to be reunited with their families and be given an opportunity to make amends for their mistakes and become responsible citizens.

    It IS your unwillingness to assess each individual’s claim as unique. Sure, some of these people may NOT be worthy of the opportunity to return. But given that they DID serve in the military (and that in itself is a sacrifice, whether or not you are willing to admit it), they should at least be given the benefit of the doubt.

    Remember, no one doubted that they were worthy of putting their lives on the line for the United States of America.


    David Beyer

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