Marine Mom Deported

Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 9:30am

Iraq war vet fights to return his mother to the U.S. after immigration mix-up.

An Iraq war veteran says he's fighting a new battle with his own country.

His mother was deported after more than two decades of legal residency in the United States.

Celia Novak a Mexican citizen who moved to the United States the legal way: She got a work visa, became a nurse, and had a son who joined the Marines.

Last month she was deported.

"It really is like a slap in the face," says Lance Corporal Miguel Valenzuela, Novak's son.

Novak's "work visa" allowed her to live here.
She had children and married an American, and planned to become a citizen.

Those plans fell apart when the marriage ended and her work visa expired.

On April 4th Novak was deported from Greeley, Colorado to Juarez, Mexico, 690 miles from the place she's called home for nearly half her life.

"In the month and a half that my Mom has been where she's at now, she's seen way more messed up stuff than I saw that that whole time. In 7 months in Iraq," Valenzuela says.

Cartel violence is her new reality.

Novak witnessed a murder on Mother's day.

"I'm always afraid of my life," she says.

Her family has hired an immigration lawyer, but Novak's appeal could take months or even years.

Valenzuela thinks his mother should be allowed back in the country - he fought for.

"People like her are exactly what this country needs. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have done the things that I did," he says.

His lawyer is hoping to take their case to federal court.

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