David, Unlawfully recruited by army recruiter

Photo of David Bariu

David Bariu came to the US as a student in 1998. A few years later, he enlisted and served honorably in the U.S. Army for two years followed by five years in the Air Force Reserve. During his service at Carswell Air Force Base, he excelled as a surgical technician and optometry technician.

Unfortunately, at the time of his enlistment, David was one of several students targeted by an Army recruiter unlawfully recruiting international students so the recruiter could receive a bonus. As a result, the recruiter was court-martialed, and an immigration case was opened against David.

In 2007, ICE agents arrived at David's home to detain him. One year later, he was stripped of his military certifications and VA ID card and deported to Kenya. In Kenya, David was left to rebuild his life while battling hostility he faced because of his ties to the US military. With the support of his family, friends, and advocates, however, David persevered.

In September 2022, 14 years after his deportation, David returned to the US to receive the citizenship he was entitled to because of his service. Now, as a US citizen and Founder and Co-Director of the Black Deported Veterans of America, David continues to advocate for the repatriation of deported veterans.

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