Faulty Plea Bargain Threatens Deportation for Army Iraq War Veteran

Faulty Plea Bargain Threatens Deportation for Army Iraq War Veteran

"Neuris Richard Feliz, 29, a former power-generation specialist for the U.S. Army, lives in a small apartment above a Lancaster storefront.  In the dining room sits his photo in green uniform, against the backdrop of an American flag. On a shelf, a horse-head profile on the yellow shield of his First Cavalry Division.  Buried in a closet are the pictures Feliz hides - corpses shredded by Iraqi roadside bombs; forward-operating-base ceremonies for fallen comrades whose lives were memorialized with Battlefield Crosses made from their helmets, boots, and rifles.  Now, almost a decade after a dangerous year under mortar fire, after receiving medals for "good conduct," "national defense service," and the "global war on terrorism," Feliz is to be deported for beating a man with an ax handle and serving three years in prison.  That puts him among a small category of men and women who served America as permanent legal residents, not U.S. citizens, and committed crimes upon returning from the front, or in civilian life.  Their situation is part of a dramatic spike in deportations under President Obama - a record 1.5 million people in his first term. Estimates put the number of "banished vets" - barred permanently from the United States - at several hundred to around 3,000." - Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 21, 2013.