SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Protesters waving signs and American and Marine Corps flags have gathered near the state capitol in Sacramento as the president of Mexico makes his first official visit to the state.
Some protesters are rallying to call for U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi to be freed from Mexican jail where he is being held on weapons charges.
“We’re out here demanding the release of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooresi who’s been held almost six months in a Mexican jail for making a wrong turn,” said California State Assembly Republican Member Tim Donnelly. “He made a wrong turn into Mexico; he did not intend to go into Mexico; he hasn’t committed a crime, even though he was in violation of Mexican law for maybe 60 seconds. The president of Mexico wants to come here and ask for some concessions on immigration, and what we’re saying as the American people is…do the right thing.”
Watch Full Statement From Assemblymember Donnelly
Tahmooressi served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, according to CBS Miami. He had moved from Florida to San Diego for treatment.
In March, Tahmooressi was driving in his pickup truck with all his belongings, including legally purchased U.S. guns, when he accidentally crossed the border into Mexico, according to his mother Jill Tahmooressi.
Andrew was taken to La Mesa prison in Tijuana and later moved to El Hongo Prison in Tecate. During the first days of his detention, his life was threatened and he attempted escape, he said.
Others protesters near the capitol are angry about so-called counter-reforms forcing poor Mexicans and others from Central and South America to flee to the U.S.