The fate of a non-US citizen Iraqi war veteran now lies in the hands of an immigration judge as he faces deportation to Mexico for a felony.
Following a felony conviction, 38-year-old Edgar Baltazar Garcia, a well-built man who was on service in Iraqi 15 years ago, will remain in the US only if an immigration judge decides so.
Carlos Garcia, Baltazar's attorney, - at the initial hearing - requested that the case be thrown out by the judge on the basis that the war veteran is suffering from PTSD but the judge did not grant such request, and Baltazar was led back into his cells alongside other detainees.
Aggravated assault on a family member
Baltazar received service medals for the roles he played in fighting a war for Iraq but his return from did not hold such honors for him.
Baltazar was charged by his domestic partner for assaulting her with a handgun on one occasion and punching her on the other occasion. Following the charges, Baltazar was found guilty of assaulting his partner with a deadly weapon.
His case was transferred to veterans' special county court where he got a deferred sentence, and his rehabilitation progressed really well.
Unfortunately, things took a negative when federal agents arrested Baltazar on the international bridge while he was returning from Mexico where he went to watch his nephew fight, a trip approved by the veteran court.
The federal agents took him into custody after discovering his felony conviction. While responding to the detention, his attorney said the rule of arriving immigrants could see his client deported which would not have been the case if he did not leave the country. An ICE spokesperson said Immigration and Nationality Act empowers the agency to detain and process people who have aggravated felonies conviction for removal.
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