U.S. Army Specialist Yea Ji Sea, a medic at the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas is now in danger of getting deported to South Korea. The Washinton Post reported on Aug 2 that the soldier was discharged last month due to her immigration status. Sea had served in the Army for over 4 1/2 years when the discharge order came.
Spc. Yea Ji Sea. a combat medic, has lost her battle to stay in the Army after issues arose over her immigration paperwork. Here, on her first day as a civilian, she talks about what’s next for her.Full story on subscriber site ExpressNews.com: https://exne.ws/2MgAMKR
Posted by My San Antonio from the Express-News on Saturday, 4 August 2018
Sea has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for failing to process her naturalization application. She is being assisted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“My biggest fear right now is my commander calling [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement],” Sea said. Adding, “I’ve been unofficially warned that ICE might come to pick me up. After 4.5 years, once I get my discharge papers, my reality is ICE might come to pick me up.”
The 29-year-old went to the U.S. when she was nine years old in 1998. She aimed to earn her citizenship through the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program and joined the military in 2013.
Besides serving in different states like Oklahoma and Texas, Sea was also sent to South Korea, where she was assigned as an ambulance aid driver and pharmacy technician. She earned a promotion and two Army Achievement Medals throughout her service in the Army.
A supervisor wrote Sea’s character assessment: “SPC Sea has the drive and professionalism needed to bring the U.S. Army to new heights. She represents the best that the Army has to offer: a smart, agile young leader capable of handling immense challenges with marked success.”
Sea had been living in the United States for over 10 years on a student visa, and was shocked to find out later that the visa was fake.
ACLU attorney Sameer Ahmed said: “The fraud was actually perpetrated by the corrupt CBP officer. She had no idea there was this … document that was put in her student visa application. No one told her.”
The school’s owner had reportedly been bribing a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent to be able to issue fraudulent visas. In 2013, the CBP officer pleaded guilty to the bribery allegations and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Sea was deemed by the U.S. government as a someone who is not of “good moral character” due to the inaccuracy in her naturalization application. This despite the good character assessment by her Army supervisor.
Ahmed pointed out that “they knew about the student visa at least since 2014, and she’s been honorably serving the military since then. He added: “Throughout the entire time, they never sought to discharge her. They’re claiming now the reason for discharging her is based on her being an alien, which makes no sense. Everyone in the MAVNI program is an alien.”
Ahmed claimed that the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement are” trying to discharge her now, and it’s part of a larger anti-immigration scheme of the Trump administration.”