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Veterans banished to Mexico buoyed by visit from US Congressional Hispanic Caucus

“What you see here today is a travesty,” Congressman Joaquín Castro declared to a small, hushed crowd.

Castro was speaking to former U.S. military members gathered at Bunker House, a shelter in Tijuana that was founded by Hector Barajas to support those who have suffered experiences similar to his: deportation to Mexico after serving in the U.S. Army. A dozen or so of them had just related their plights to Castro and seven other members of a Congressional delegation — all Hispanic representatives from Texas, California, Arizona and other states.

Such people “should not be subject to deportation,” Castro went on. “Unfortunately there are hundreds if not thousands of veterans who have been dealt that exact fate.”

Bunker House, in existence since 2004, has recently received attention from the American Civil Liberties Union and some sympathetic U.S. representatives, which, after a flurry of Memorial Day demonstrations and attendant publicity, culminated in the June 3 visit.

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