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New program to revisit cases of vets who have been deported

Veterans in Ciudad Juarez after being deported for committing crimes. (KFOX14/CBS4)

A new program introduced in the Borderland seeks to revisit the legal cases of deported veterans.

The Reinstatement of Deported Veterans Program was announced today by Xavier A. Mendez, immigration attorney; Roberto J. Ramos, director of foreign prosecutions unit with the El Paso District Attorney's Office; and Darrell Mond, president of the El Paso Veterans & Riders Association.

"The challenges are enormous because we're dealing with people that have been convicted of a crime," said Ramos.

He said the first step for the program is to identify how many deported veterans there are and verify their military service.

"They are immigrants that are not U.S. citizens so the challenge is enormous because, first of all, they've been deported for a legal reason," said Ramos.

Some veterans who have been deported are living in Ciudad Juarez.

"We're focusing now on Mexico, specifically our sister city in Ciudad Juarez," said Mendez.

Many of the veterans now living in Ciudad Juarez were convicted of possession of drugs, which the program wants to revisit to see if the veterans had access to benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Some have decided to self-medicate with controlled substances," said Mendez.

The program also wants to revisit the information that was given to the veterans at the time they pleaded guilty to their charges, said Mendez.

The Reinstatement of Deported Veterans Program can be contacted by calling Mendez's office at 915-474-6952 or by sending an email to dgmond@yahoo.com.

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