Photo Of Deported Veterans Saluting US Flag Goes Viral

A photo of several deported veterans went viral over the weekend as the U.S. celebrated Veterans Day on Saturday. The photo was taken by photojournalist Herika Martinez for the Agence France-Presse news agency.

The photo depicts a group of several Mexican men who served in the U.S. military in order to become citizens, but were denied and deported. The soldiers protested on Memorial day this year in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Worldwide there are approximately 230 people who served in the U.S. military to gain citizenship, but were denied, according to NBC News in May.

“Many of us believe that they should be allowed to become citizens,” said Rep. Joaquín Castro of Texas to NBC News. “Many, if not most, were legal permanent residents, who were eligible to become citizens and perhaps never applied — they stood up for their country and put their lives on the line.”

Castro and several other lawmakers visited Mexico to meet with deported veterans earlier this year.

Serving in the military does not automatically confer citizenship, but does make the process easier.

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