FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2014
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Assemblywoman Melendez Sends Call for Action Letter to President Obama
The letter was signed by 20 other legislators and provided the legal basis for the President’s Action
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, sent a letter to President Obama today laying a legal and moral justification for the President to demand the release of Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi. Twenty additional California legislators signed the letter.
“As California legislators, we felt it was only right and honorable to try every avenue available to us to help Sergeant Tahmooressi. It is our sincere hope to highlight the existing code the President may use to help bring Sergeant Tahmooressi home safe as soon as possible.” said Melendez. “In anticipation of another court appearance, in a long line of misapplied justice, it is imperative we exhaust every option to ensure our Marine is allowed to come home immediately after this obvious misunderstanding.”
The Mexican government took Marine Sergeant Tahmooressi into custody March 31, when he inadvertently crossed the California border into Mexico. Despite his cooperation and obvious accidental circumstances, he has been kept in custody and is being held for trial. Tahmooressi had recently relocated to California to receive treatment for PTSD and has incurred substantial legal fees.
“We have a decorated combat veteran needlessly behind bars in a Mexican jail. As a Marine who has sworn to fight for us, it is our honor to stand up and fight for him.” said Melendez. “The Federal Government was recently reminded of its lack of commitment to its veterans, and I think we can all agree that Sergeant Tahmooressi deserves more from his government.”
Assemblywoman Melendez circulated her letter to the entire California State Legislature on Monday. The following legislators are the members who agreed to sign the letter: Assemblymembers Travis Allen (Huntington Beach), Frank Bigelow (O’Neals), Tim Donnelly (Twin Peaks), Beth Gaines (Rocklin), Jeff Gorell (Camarillo), Shannon Grove (Bakersfield), Curt Hagman (Chino Hills), Brian Jones (Santee), Dan Logue (Marysville), Brian Maienschein (San Diego), Allan Mansoor (Costa Mesa), Brian Nestande (Palm Desert), Kristin Olsen (Modesto), Jim Patterson (Fresno), Donald Wagner (Irvine), Marie Waldron (Escondido), and Scott Wilk (Santa Clarita); along with Senators Ted Gaines (Rocklin), Bob Huff (Diamond Bar), and Mark Wyland (Escondido).
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester.