Posted on April 20, 2005

Father of Slain Marine Cautions Mexican Students Against Migrating, Enlisting

Mark Stevenson, AP, Apr. 19

MEXICO CITY — The father of a Mexican-born U.S. Marine slain in Iraq came back to his native Mexico on Tuesday to convince young Mexicans not to immigrate to the United States or allow themselves to be recruited into the U.S. armed services.

Fears abound here that Mexican youths may see service as a fast-track to citizenship, although the U.S. military does not recruit in Mexico. A minor violation of that recruitment rule occurred in 2003, when a U.S. Army recruiter went to the border city of Tijuana looking for two youths he had first contacted in the United States.

“People should stay here, rather than pursue the misnamed American dream,” said Fernando Suarez del Solar of San Diego, who has traveled across the United States and visited Iraq during his anti-war campaign.

His son, Lance Cpl. Jesus Suarez del Solar, died in a cluster bomb explosion in 2003. The 20-year-old Solar joined the military two years earlier after recruiters told him enlisting would help him become a civilian police officer, his father said.

“Anybody who goes there risks being chased by vigilantes, or recruited into the army,” Suarez de Solar said. “I want to talk to young people . . . and tell them they should stay here and work for Mexico.”