With President Trump’s upcoming visit, veterans who have been deported are asking for an opportunity to return.
More than 20 veterans living in Ciudad Juarez are seeking rights they say they have earned through their service in the United States military, such as medical help and pensions.
Among them: Jose Francisco Lopez, whose home is now a shelter aiming to assist deported veterans.
Lopez became a legal resident in the U.S. at the age of 14. He was later drafted in 1967 to serve in the Vietnam War.
“An immigrant, I went to Vietnam even if I didn’t speak any English at all,” Lopez said.
Lopez was honorably discharged and later sent to prison for attempting to purchase drugs.
In 2003, he was deported to Mexico.
“It was terrible to be in a different country which I didn’t know,” he tells KTSM.
Lopez says most veterans who get deported end up alone.
“Most of us lose our families; divorce or something like that,” he said. “They don’t want to live here…in Mexico.”
With President Trump days away from visiting El Paso, Lopez hopes their message makes it across the border.
“President Donald Trump can hear us crying for help,” he said. “We want to go back. We want you to give us our honor back.”