LATEST: Lawmakers Push for Release of Marine Jailed in Mexico
There are new calls for the State Department to secure the release of a Marine jailed in Mexico. Marine reservist Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, claims he got lost driving in San Diego and accidentally crossed the border.
He thought the Mexican border guards would let him turn around, but instead he was arrested and put in prison for having three legally purchased guns in his truck.
Bill Hemmer spoke to Andrew’s mother, Jill Andrew Tahmooressi, on America’s Newsroom. She talked to her son yesterday and said he feels encouraged by the support.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that reads in part: “It is absolutely critical that Andrew’s release be achieved as soon as possible … He served his country faithfully as a U.S. Marine and he is owed the same commitment by the U.S. government in return.”
There is also a WhiteHouse.gov petition advocating for his release that’s in need of 100,000 signatures to elicit a response from the White House.
Jill defended her son getting lost, saying, “When I went at 10 o’clock in the morning, I turned wrong twice within a football field of the border, and there was graffiti on the one sign that I saw that said to Mexico. I think it’s negligible […] and I will advocate for responsible border signs as soon as Andrew’s free.”
For about a month, Tahmooressi was chained by all fours to a cot after he tried to escape the La Mesa prison cell where his life was being threatened. Jill said that the now he is chained by one leg.
She noted that her son had just been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder 10 days before his arrest and was in San Diego for treatment. The State Department, through the U.S. consulate in Tijuana, is providing the judge presiding over the case with Tahmooressi’s medical records to help authorities understand that they’re not equipped to take care of him.
“He has been utterly abandoned for 30 days and we have heard of no due process being put forth on his case from the Mexican judicial system, other than a very delayed border statement that is planned for May 28,” Jill said.
Watch the full interview above.