Morning Report: From Deported Vet to US Citizen

Hector Barajas, a deported veteran, holds up proof of his citizenship , shadowed by former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Both local and national media outlets descended on downtown San Diego Friday to hear from Hector Barajas — a once-deported Army veteran who was sworn in as a U.S. citizen.

“The citizenship only validates what I’ve always felt in my heart: I’m a proud American patriot,” he told the crowd. “I believe I am no less a good American for my mistake.”

Barajas was brought to the United States as a child and served in the 82nd Airborne Division until being honorably discharged. He was arrested soon afterward for firing a weapon at an occupied vehicle and served two years in jail.He was deported twice.

Barajas spent nearly a decade in Mexico, where

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