Texas, United States, NPR discussed on Morning Edition
It's morning edition from NPR news. I'm David grain Martin. There are about ninety thousand military veterans in this country. Who are not American citizens. That's according to the migration policy institute. One of those veterans is a veteran of their rock war living in south, Texas. He is now facing deportation over a felony conviction unless an immigration judge decides to let him stay NPR's. John Burnett has the story. The army veteran is husky and bearded and physically bigger than the Central American men who sit glumly on a bench and immigration court. Edgar about the sowed cassia wore combat fatigues when he manned a fifty caliber machine gun nicknamed Lucifer in the turret of a humvee when he was in Iraq fifteen years ago today, his uniform is a red jail jumpsuit with the letters p IDC on the back port Isabel detention center. The judge calls the court to order aggression court inquiries about Texas immigration judge presiding on March. Six to this the initial hearing his attorney Carlos Garcia asks the judge to dismiss 'bout as ours case. He's an Iraqi war veteran who suffers from PTA and his currently detained. Judge denies the motion to terminate the case and belt this out his lead with the others back to their cells the infantryman despite his combat medals got into some serious trouble after he came home from war in one incident. He pointed a gun at his domestic partner in a second incident. He punched her she filed charges about to Sar was found guilty of aggravated assault on a family member with a deadly weapon because he served in Iraq. His case was moved to a special county court for veterans there. He received a deferred sentence. Things were going well about this are was attending counselling sessions in passing drug and alcohol tests in February. He drove to Mexico to see a nephew fight in a boxing match when he tried to return to Texas federal agents checked his record spotted the felony and took him into custody. His attorney Carlos Garcia says the way the law works Baltasar could not be deported for his crime as long as he stayed in the US, but once you leave and you come back it's a completely different ballgame because the rules at the port of entry are completely different for people who are entering the country and considered what they call arriving aliens asked to comment on the case, a spokesperson for immigration and customs enforcement reference, the immigration and nationality act, which says non-citizens who commit aggravated felonies are to be detained and processed for removal about our was born in Mexico. His parents brought him to the US when he was fourteen he never got around to getting his citizenship about as our. On a tinny phone line from inside the razor wire detention camp. He says US citizens can go out and commit a crime. They never fought for their country, and they're not deported. I make one mistake, and I have to pay the price by leaving the country. Edgar about woes are not a product of President Trump's crackdown on immigrants. The United States has been deporting convicted immigrant veterans for decades. And for decades, it's been sparking outrage, congressman vicinty Gonzalez and who south Texas district. Baltasar lives has introduced a Bill called the repatriate are patriots act. It would prohibit the deportation of any honorably discharged veteran unless they're convicted of homicide rate terrorism or child sex crimes, and I think they should be punished for the crimes that they commit if they gotta go to jail. They gotta go to jail they're on probation. They're on probation. But we can't punish them twice. And we can't punish them permanently Gonzales cited the case of Carlos Hymie Torres of the at Phnom vet who was convicted of marijuana dealing and deported. In twenty ten in December. He died in Reno sa- where he'd been living in a cheap apartment, and he passed away and came back in a casket and had all military service burial. And I just find that very hypocritical of our government the extensive veterans community in the Reig ran valley stands behind Edgar about this hour. He should be tried and adjudicated by the criminal Justice system that he fought to maintain and not be deported Felix Rodriguez, a former army intelligence specialist in Vietnam. Attended 'bout this ours hearing he says in solidarity with a brother in arms the VA clinic in the Bali diagnosed about his are with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Studies indicate that service members and veterans who show PTSD symptoms are at a greater risk of what's called intimate partner. Violence Felix Rodriguez says he sees it every week as an officer with the veterans court that was overseeing about this ours case deaf. Definitely there's a correlation a relationship between PTSD and risky behavior. That lands veteran court has for the Bill in congress to stop deportations veterans its passage is a long shot. The sponsor says in this climate anything seen is an immigration Bill has a rough road. But the congressman stresses this isn't an immigration Bill. It's veterans, right? Spill at about ours. Final hearing is at the end of this month. The judge will decide either to deport him or let him stay in the US. John burnett. NPR news. Henry block co-founder of HR block has died at age ninety six he and his brother pioneer, the tax preparation business. And his Frank Morris of member station Casey are reports he had a bit of luck along the way. When Henry black got back from fighting World War Two he went into business doing accounting for small businesses in Kansas City, eventually as he says in this company video he needed help. So he put an ad in the paper. My mother veils the ad and said, I know who you should hire your brother deck allies. Mom, I can't hire dick couldn't afford them. But Richard block joined the company anyway, and by nineteen fifty five brothers had decided to stop doing taxes too busy with other business services. But one of their customers the guy who sold advertising and wanted his taxes done suggested that instead of getting out of the tax business. They advertise it, and he drew up a newspaper ad it said five dollars for your tax return. And I asked him how much had gone. Cost is and he said one hundred dollars, and I said we'd have to do twenty returns just to get our money back. They ran the ad anyway in block got an urgent call from the office. There was dick and said come back as soon as you can we've got an office full of people. So I haven't made it went back sat down at a desk and started filling out tax returns as best. I could turned out the IRS was phasing out its own free tax preparation service. So Henry and Richard formed H and R block went all in business. Took off the agent are block guarantee. That's number fourteen of seventeen reasons why should prepare your taxes. Henry buck plowed much of his fortune back into Kansas City funding the arts and business school among other things for NPR news. I'm Frank Morris in Kansas City, and this is NPR news. And you are listening to KCRW..