Local soldier talks about his brother's wrongful deportation

By Chauncy Glover - bio | e-mail 

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "Who's watching this? Who allowed this to happen? How do you explain to us, my brother was gone for two years? How come no one looked at his finger prints or social security?"  These are questions, Brian Lyttle says, needs to be answered.

"Do we have an actual case of racial profiling? They made the assumption (based on) his looks. So many people dropped the ball on so many levels. They pretty much said it wasn't our problem. He's not a legal citizen," added Lyttle.

They told him his name was Jose Thomas and that's what prompted the investigation through ICE.

The 31- year-old mentally challenged, North Carolina native was deported from the United States and ping-ponged across Central America, trying to prove he was a U.S. citizen.

"We thought he was dead. If he (had not) gotten help, we would have never known what happened to him and our government would have never had an answer for us because he was listed as someone else. And the more I think about this I get angrier and angrier. You're talking about a mentally handicap person who the state deems not capable of taking care of himself," recounted Brian Lyttle.

But Lyttle did manage to take care of himself--even after going days without food and medication, sleeping on the streets of Honduras and almost being killed.

Now back home with his family, Lyttle at times, relives the nightmare.

Brian says things will never be the same for his little brother.

"He's on edge. He's definitely not the same person to me. He woke up in the middle of the night experiencing some pretty traumatic things. You can tell he experienced something that no one should experience," he says.

The family is filing suit against ICE and plans to take the case to the courts.

They say nothing can make up the time lost, but they want justice served.

"I hope my brother gets some form of restitution with that being simply (losing) their jobs, a formal investigation, then so be it. That's good enough for me, because we have our brother back," said Lyttle.