Elisha Dawkins immigrated to Miami from the Bahamas as a young boy. It was only until after he served in both the Army and Navy and found himself in jail on a passport flap that he discovered that he was not a legal citizen. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami has offered a deal to Dawkins that would settle the passport charges, but he could still face deportation.
Dawkins was indicted back in March while serving with the Navy in Guantanamo Bay for lying on a passport application. He checked a box assuring that he had never applied for a passport before, but actually had started a passport application the year before but never finished it. It was only then that Dawkins and the military discovered that he was not a U.S. citizen. Dawkins was raised believing he was a citizen. How he received a social security number is still unclear. He's sat in a Miami jail since his arrest.
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According to The New York Times, prosecutors will drop the passport charges if Dawkins agrees to enter a pretrial diversion program and completes a term of probation. The move is rare, but if Dawkins was convicted of a felony it would preclude him from becoming an actual citizen. An attorney in the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office said that Dawkins' military service led to the uncommon step.
Though, the deal would not ultimately protect Dawkins from deportation, and he must now fight a separate legal battle to obtain citizenship and stay in the country for which he served as a decorated member of the military.