Man who fought for country fights for citizenship

The case of Mario Hernandez defies all logic. When he signed up to fight in Vietnam, and took his oath to uphold the Constitution, he thought he was becoming a citizen. He had a Social Security number that he got when he arrived in the United States as a child. He went on to a career as a prison guard. He voted.

He did everything a good U.S. citizen does. Then he tried to go on a cruise with his wife and when he tried to get a passport, he found out he’s not a citizen after all.

“I served this country,” Hernandez tells the Associated Press. “I’ve always tried to prove I’m a good American citizen. I have always taught my children and grandchildren we need to be good stewards of this country. My parents came for freedom. We owe a lot to this country.”

He could start over and go through the five-year process to become a citizen. Or, some bureaucrat can find a little common sense.

“I’m a veteran,” Hernandez tells Reuters. “I feel like I’m betrayed.”

According to CBS News, Hernandez could face prison and fines for falsely claiming citizenship and voting.

Editor’s note: An earlier headline on this story said incorrectly that Hernandez faced deportation to Cuba.