Melendez Authors Letter Asking Release of Marine in Mexico

A letter authored by state assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) and signed by 20 other...

A letter authored by state assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) and signed by 20 other California legislators has been sent to President Obama, laying a legal and moral justification for the President to demand the release of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from Mexican authorities.

"As California legislators, we felt it was only right and honorable to try every avenue available to us to help Sergeant Tahmooressi," said Melendez, who represents Menifee, Murrieta and surrounding communities. "It is our sincere hope to highlight the existing code the President may use to help bring Sergeant Tahmooressi home safe as soon as possible.

"In anticipation of another court appearance, in a long line of misapplied justice, it is imperative we exhaust every option to ensure our Marine is allowed to come home immediately after this obvious misunderstanding.”

The Mexican government took Sgt. Tahmooressi into custody March 31 when he inadvertently crossed the California border into Mexico. Despite his cooperation, he has been kept in custody and is being held for trial. Tahmooressi had recently relocated to California to receive treatment for PTSD and has incurred substantial legal fees.

“We have a decorated combat veteran needlessly behind bars in a Mexican jail. As a Marine who has sworn to fight for us, it is our honor to stand up and fight for him,” said Melendez. “The Federal Government was recently reminded of its lack of commitment to its veterans, and I think we can all agree that Sgt. Tahmooressi deserves more from his government.”

Melendez circulated her letter to the entire California State Legislature on Monday. The following legislators agreed to sign the letter: Assembly members Travis Allen (Huntington Beach), Frank Bigelow (O'Neals), Tim Donnelly (Twin Peaks), Beth Gaines (Rocklin), Jeff Gorell (Camarillo), Shannon Grove (Bakersfield), Curt Hagman (Chino Hills), Brian Jones (Santee), Dan Logue (Marysville), Brian Maienschein (San Diego), Allan Mansoor (Costa Mesa), Brian Nestande (Palm Desert), Kristin Olsen (Modesto), Jim Patterson (Fresno), Donald Wagner (Irvine), Marie Waldron (Escondido), and Scott Wilk (Santa Clarita); along with Senators Ted Gaines (Rocklin), Bob Huff (Diamond Bar), and Mark Wyland (Escondido).


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