Decorated Iraq War Veteran Elisha Dawkins Sits in Miami Jail for Lying on Passport Application

Categories: News
dawkings.jpg
Dawkins was a photographer in the Army, shooting photos like this one.
Elisha L. Dawkins was born in the Bahamas but immigrated to Miami as an infant. He was brought up believing he was an American citizen and after high school enlisted in the Army, where he served what he thought was his country in both Iraq and Guantánamo Bay. Now he sits in a federal detention center while the the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami prosecutes him for lying on an passport application.

According to The New York Times, Dawkins moved to Miami as an infant with his mother, who was later deported. He stayed behind, though, and was raised by relatives who told him he was a legal citizen of the United States. He even received a birth certificate from the State of Florida and has a social security number.

He enlisted in the Army and served in both Iraq and at Guantánamo Bay. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 2008 after attaining numerous accolades such as the Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and Combat Action Badge. He then enlisted in the Navy. His service to the country was unquestioned.

Prosecutors now claim, though, that Dawkins was never an American citizen and lied on a passport application. Dawkins applied for a passport in order to serve in Guantánamo. A question on the form asked if he'd ever applied for a passport before. He checked no. That wasn't entirely true. He had begun an application for a passport before deploying to Iraq but never finished the process. That single check on a box is why he now sits behind bars.

"We don't often incarcerate war-hero-type people for making a false statement on a passport application," Dawkins's lawyer, Clark Mervis, told The Times. "It's a case that should never have been prosecuted criminally. This is just wrong."

Some observers believe the case might be a result of feds pursuing legal action against immigrants for minor passport violations in order to deport them.

"On passports now, they are criminally charging everybody," Ira J. Kurzban, a Miami lawyer and past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, tells The Times. "They're even charging people whom they hadn't charged before."

Prosecutors aren't sure how Dawkins received a social security number or was able to obtain documents to prove his citizenship in the first place. His lawyer, however, claims he was raised to believe he was a citizen and did not intentionally try to dupe the armed forces.

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27 comments
Disgusted
Disgusted

This is truly appalling. This man has served his country far more than the backstabbing bureaucrat prosecuting him ever have.

Others have raised the point that his service in the military should by default trump his place of birth, granting him citizenship. Interestingly enough, a very similar idea can be found in a special little book written by Ray Bradbury, which is extremely popular amongst the armed forces and possibly even read at West Point. In the book, the only citizens are those who have served their 'country'. Bonus points to whomever gets the reference.

Candio Belle
Candio Belle

Deport a veteran? Tell me it isn't true. This young man should be give a pardon,given an apology for ignorance and stupidity, and rewarded with citizenship. He has done more than most young men his age has ever done and they are citizens.America has really changed for the worst. People in certain positions as well as ordinary citizens has changed America for the worst. Homosexuals,crime,racism,drugs,hollywood reality shows,America has traded what made it great for what is of the moment.It is indeed a shame,and its no wonder America will fall. 

A Patriot
A Patriot

A perfect example of Congress failing our country. We need to pass a law which states that every alien - legal or illegal - who serves a tour of duty in the military becomes a US citizen when they are honorably discharged from their service. The military needs to then institute the following procedure. On the day, or within one week before, any alien serving in the military is honorably discharged from the service their will be held a ceremony in front of their fellow soldiers in which they are sworn in and take the oath of allegiance. Their commanding officer will then hand them their Naturalization Certificate followed by a parade of colors and a review parade by their immediate comrades. These individuals have earned this honor and they deserve to have the ceremony while they still are in the uniform for the country which they have so ably served. God bless them and God Bless America.

Batsu
Batsu

Sounds like falsifying documents might run in the family if he somehow wound up with a Florida birth certificate even though he was born somewhere else...

Cam
Cam

I served with this soldier during the surge in Iraq, he was a hard working soldier that carried out each mission with honor. I throw the BS flag! He is giving to this country, not taking like illegals sucking our tax dollars dry!

cwjjohn
cwjjohn

Oops, should have obtained one from Hawaii like.....

Kuei
Kuei

Serves him right for fighting for a country that will only shit on him.

bluechip
bluechip

What idiot prosecutor is going to pursue a case like this?  The guy could have gotten killed while fighting for our country, and this is how you repay him?

jason l
jason l

I think that any illegal alien that is willing to serve in the military should be granted citizenship.

zardinuk
zardinuk

This is just one of those cases where you need to make an exception. Get the president or whoever on the horn and get this guy a passport, clean and iron his clothes for him and let him out of jail.

inthebackwoods
inthebackwoods

Typical politics they turn you every way they can,ridiculous

fred420
fred420

this is insane, its not even ABOUT whether or not he is a citizen or has a bc or ss card which he does. He started an app, stopped, and filled another one two years later and they arrest him for checking the wrong box? WTF!?!!??!?

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

Elisha L. Dawkins was born in the Bahamas

"WTF" He even received a birth certificate from the State of Florida and has a social security number. fake paper?

If he was Bahamas in he wouldn't have a US birth certificate.

Sounds like the family  bought a fake birth certificate and SS card.

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

When the Vietnam war, more than a few young Cuban refugees who were not citizens were drafted and sent to combat.

mr_badwrench
mr_badwrench

@Disgusted I believe that the book you're referring to is Starship Troopers which is by Robert A. Heinlein not Ray Bradbury...I guess I really should look closer at the posting date on some of these stories               oh well

Candi O.Belle
Candi O.Belle

Sir.. If I am not mistaken, the book you refer to is either "Fahrenheit 451", or "The Sound of Thunder" which I remember reading as a young Marine as well as when I was the medical first sergeant for SOCOM..See?.. even first sergeant's read!(smile). 1SG Candi OBelle USAR-R.

roy1531
roy1531

Mother fucker I am about sick of your ass!

yahoo-UA2GGFLLDETWTRJF2DRSUYUFP4
yahoo-UA2GGFLLDETWTRJF2DRSUYUFP4

Exactly. I served in the Marines with three people who were not citizens yet. As far as I am concerned as soon as they successfully completed their enlistment they are citizens regardless of any paperwork issues...

quiop
quiop

sounds like another familar case of someone getting a fake birth certificate

karmelchanah
karmelchanah

It's so easy to point fingers at this young man. He was not responsible for the lies that were told to him. This man should be granted citizenship for his service to our country. He honestly thought he was a US Citizen therefore he did not willingly defraud/deceive the US government. This is a tragedy. Parents/Guardians should always be honest with their children. Grief only follows dishonesty on any level...

Kuei
Kuei

Then keep reading my posts imbecile.

quiop
quiop

perfect plan.  now we can just go south of the border for all new recruits. 

roy1531
roy1531

No, I just enjoy punching someone in the mouth that truly needs it! But from all of your post about women we can only assume that you are into being dominated by multiple men at the same time.

Kuei
Kuei

Are you into bestiality also, or just male domination?

roy1531
roy1531

You could really use a good old country ass whipping. And I am just country enough to give it to you!

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