Marine combat veteran, 38, faces deportation to El Salvador despite growing up in California as supporters call on Gov Gavin Newsom to step in
- Marine veteran Jose Segovia Benitez, 38, faces deportation to El Salvador
- He left the country at three years old, and grew up in Long Beach, California
- He served in the Marines from 1999-2004 and was deployed to Iraq
- After returning home with PTSD, Segovia Benitez was convicted on multiple charges, included assault with a deadly weapon and corporal injury to a spouse
- Family and advocates want California Governor Gavin Newsom to pardon his convictions
A 38-year-old Marine corps veteran faces imminent deportation to El Salvador despite leaving the country when he was just three years old.
Jose Segovia Benitez served in the Marines from 1999-2004 and was deployed to Iraq, earning numerous medals and accolades for combat.
He even had a large tattoo of the Statue of Liberty inked on his rib cage to show his love for his adopted country.
But upon returning from Iraq, he suffered from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury.
The veteran was self-medicating with alcohol and served several years in prison for drug and domestic violence-related convictions, NBC News said.
While he previously had legal status, he was ordered removed from the US after serving his prison sentence.
Now his supporters are calling on California Governor Gavin Newsom to step in and halt his deportation.
Jose Segovia Benitez, who served in Iraq for the U.S. Marine Corps, is facing deportation. Family is seeking Governor Newsom to strike convictions from his record
After returning home with PTSD, Jose Segovia Benitez was convicted on multiple charges. Now he places deportation to El Salvador, where he hasn’t lived since he was 3
Family, friends and advocates say deportation is no way to treat a man who fought for the country.
‘It’s just cruel,’ Martha Garcia told NBC News.
She said he has lived in the U.S. since he was 3 and grew up in Long Beach, California.
His sister Basty Garcia, said her sibling enlisted because ‘he was patriotic and believed in this country.’
Jose Segovia Benitez, from Long Beach, CA, served in Iraq for the Marines, but could face deportation to El Salvador
The family say the deportation process started Tuesday, but he was subsequently taken off a plane bound for El Salvador and is now being detained in Arizona.
Advocates for Segovia Benitez reached out to Gov. Newsom in August to pardon his convictions.
Lawyer Thomas Sanchez says Segovia Benitez should have been charged with misdemeanors instead of felonies for drug and domestic violence cases.
For example, he pointed to an assault with a deadly weapon charge that stemmed from Segovia Benitez having a screwdriver in his pocket that wasn’t used.
Among his other convictions were corporal injury to a spouse, for which he received an eight-year sentence, false imprisonment, narcotics possession, conspiracy to commit a crime and driving under the influence, ICE said.