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Latino Daily News

Wednesday October 31, 2012

Voting Not Open to Hispanic Veterans Fighting Deportations in Colorado

Voting Not Open to Hispanic Veterans Fighting Deportations in Colorado

Photo: 2012 Vote

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Two Hispanic brothers in Colorado, both Vietnam War veterans, will not be able to vote in the upcoming election after they were dropped from the voter rolls due to official doubts about their citizenship, one of them, Jesus Valenzuela, told Efe on Wednesday.

“We’ve come to this. They no longer see us as citizens of the United States,” said Jesus, who since 2005 - along with his brother Valente - has been seeking to prove that they are citizens.

The brothers were born in Chihuahua, Mexico, to a U.S. mother born in New Mexico and a Mexican father who was a naturalized American.

Except for a few years when they were very young, the brothers have always lived in the United States and they say they were always certain they were U.S. citizens.

However, after some “minor problems” with the law seven years ago, federal authorities informed them that they had never been properly registered as U.S. citizens.

The Valenzuela brothers say that the situation is “just a misunderstanding” that arose because their birth certificates list their names one way but the Social Security files list them in another way, despite the fact that the different names pertain to the same people.

Recently, however, the brothers received a letter from the office of the administrator of El Paso County, the county in the Denver area where they live, telling them that - according to the confirmation sent by the Department of Homeland Security to the Colorado Secretary of State - they are not U.S. citizens.

Therefore, Jesus Valenzuela was eliminated from the voter rolls, although Valente refused to provide details about his situation. Neither of the pair said whether or not they had voted in the past or if this would have been their first time to do so.