A former Camp Pendleton Marine who served his country is now fighting the U.S. government to bring his deported father back home from Mexico.
“I drive a little ways, but it’s worth it. I'm glad he's still alive and still with us,” Jorge Alvarez told NBC 7 of visiting his father at the border wall. Alvarez said it’s extremely frustrating his family has to meet him there.
Alvarez is the oldest of six children. His father, Jose Alvarez, was deported earlier this year after being pulled over by police in Long Beach. Jose Alvarez was a legal resident in the 1980s, but a drug conviction in the 90’s changed that. After serving time in prison he lived in the country as an undocumented immigrant.
“He committed a crime, he did his time,” Jorge Alvarez said. “And now he paid for a broken tail light. In 20 plus years he hasn't done anything wrong.”
“It’s ironic. I thought serving the country would be good for me. I did so much and now they're separating my family,” Jorge Alvarez said.
Lawyers have been trying to convince U.S. courts to give the Alvarez case special consideration.
“We're not excusing anybody,” Congressman Alan Lowenthal told NBC 7. “Everybody should be held accountable. But it should be considered in context ... He was a model American.”
As lawmakers in Washington fight over which immigrants get to stay, the Alvarez family will keep fighting to bring their father home.
“One non-violent crime that happened so many years ago shouldn't define who you are,” Jorge Alvarez said.