This is a situation President Trump needs to revisit immediately.
His entire immigration legislation was signed into law using an executive order.
It’s time he modify it.
US President Donald Trump said he was open to the idea of allowing deported veterans to return.
It was very difficult to transition, the first couple months,” said Hector Barajas, a former U.S. Army paratrooper, who was deported to Mexico in 2010 and calls the apartment home.
He said when he first landed back to Mexico – a country he had little connection to since he left as a child in the 1980s - there was no network of veterans and no offices to help get him on his feet.
He started reaching out to other veterans and soon turned his home into a shelter for deported veterans in Tijuana, many of whom needed help with even the most basic things as they adjusted to an unfamiliar city.
“That’s part of our job here: to make it easier for the men to find work, helping them find their IDs, where to go get their driver’s license,” said Barajas. “It’s difficult when you don’t really have anyone to help you out with that.”
He said he’s been in touch with nearly 60 deported veterans since October.
As the numbers clearly show in the numbers below, this is not an insignificant number of veteran lives and their extended families being affected.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Roughly 18,700 legal permanent migrant residents are in the U.S. armed forces, and about 5,000 join every year, according to the Department of Defense.
More than 109,000 service men and women had become citizens by the end of 2015, according to statistics from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
It’s unclear how many veterans have been deported. The American Civil Liberties Union estimates hundreds, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they don’t keep track of that data. An agency spokeswoman said officials do consider military service a “positive factor” during deportation proceedings. (Source)
If a veteran has served our country honorably and was discharged as such, should a dui, marijuana in fraction, or other misdemeanors prevent them from living in America?
Of course, those who may have committed rape, assault or other felonies must be considered differently.
On May 26, 2017, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) reintroduced a bill package that will prevent veterans from being deported and help veterans that have been deported get access to the medical service they deserve. (Source)
The Immigrant Veterans Eligibility Tracking System (I-VETS) Act of 2017, Healthcare Opportunities for Patriots in Exile (HOPE) Act of 2017, and Naturalization at Training Sites (NATS) Act of 2017 are part of this legislative package.
I came across this the other day while I was roaming the internet. I hadn’t heard about it before, I thought if a immigrant served honorably in the Military they were granted citizenship.
Who among us, (Talking to Veterans now) finding it difficult to adjust back into the world when they got out didn’t have some sort of problem or run in with the law?
I know I did and I was a “Cold War ” vet, didn’t see any combat.
I got a DUI and spent a little time in the county on another occasion but charges had to be dropped due to an illegal search.
I know there’s probably a lot of vet’s that didn’t have any problems but there’s an awful lot that do.
Personally, I think no expense or time should be spared to look at each case individually.
Unless of course it’s a no brainer and the veteran is an absolute degenerate and violent criminal.
Even still though that veteran deserves at the very least a full investigation that includes in my opinion a Psychiatric eval to see if he or she has PTSD or something that would prevent them from being a good citizen.
And if they do have PTSD or some other disorder or inability to adjust to civilian life do to Military service it should be taken care of.
The “Nanny State” or government already spends and wastes so much on freebies and fraud there should be no problem what so ever helping a veteran.
Anyone that knows me knows I’m totally against “Illegal Immigration” and believe it should be done right by going through the process and assimilating.
I protested and got interviewed ( not so favorably of course) by the Press Enterprise in my city when the legislators were considering an Immigration change for the city.
It was me and I think two or three more compared to about fifty supporters of the legislation.
I also support building the wall.
Anyways, that’s my two cents. Check out these stories and share your thought’s if you can, would really like to hear what others have to say on the subject.
Part one, excerpts from the article. “Army veteran Mario Martinez spent six years of his life fighting for the United States.
Now, he’s fighting for the right to keep living here.
See the entire article below.
Martinez, 54, was born in Mexico, but came to the U.S. as a young child and became a legal resident. He joined the Army, served with the 82nd Airborne Division, and earned an honorable discharge. But more than a decade after he left the service, he was convicted of a felony, putting his immigration status in jeopardy.
“One mistake shouldn’t make the rest of your life,” said Martinez, who spent four years in California state prison for an assault conviction stemming from a 2008 domestic violence case. “I mean I paid for what I did, I did my time. I did it quietly, went in and got out.”(“More than a decade after he left the Army, he was convicted of assault in a domestic violence case. It happened the night he found the body of his best friend, who had died by suicide. Martinez said he was upset and got into an argument with his girlfriend. At the trial, his girlfriend testified that it was a one-time event, but cuts to her cheek required stitches, according to court records.”)
He served four years in prison.
After Martinez served his time, he was handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles deportation for the Department of Homeland Security. He spent another 10 months in detention, then was released on bond in 2014. He currently lives in Southern California, while he awaits a court date in his deportation case.
“ICE exercises prosecutorial discretion for members of the armed forces who have honorably served our country on a case-by-case basis when appropriate,” said Rodriguez. “Still, applicable law requires ICE to mandatorily detain and process for removal individuals who have been convicted of aggravated felonies as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
An executive order signed by President Trump on January 25 expands who can be deported to include not only those with criminal records, but non-citizens who have committed a “chargeable criminal offense.” Already immigrant arrests are up by a third, compared to last year, according to ICE data.
But the current enforcement policy on immigration has been shaped over decades by both Democratic and Republican presidents.
Many veterans and advocates point to a 1996 law, passed during the Clinton presidency, as laying the groundwork for current deportations.
That law, called The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, expanded the types of criminal convictions eligible for deportation.
In the following decade, the U.S. deported 897,099 non-citizens after they served their criminal sentences, according to a 2007 report from Human Rights Watch, which based its findings on ICE data. During those years, 77 percent of the legal permanent residents were deported for non-violent offenses.”
Continue to the article here.>Serving In the U.S. Military Won’t Protect These Veterans From Being Deported
Part two, excerpts from the article.“Signs of American military life are everywhere in the cramped Tijuana apartment: a U.S. flag hung on the wall, Army patches covered a camouflaged backpack, photos of uniformed men lined a shelf.
His office keeps a database of about 350 veterans who have been deported to different cities in Mexico and countries further away, such as the Philippines, Honduras and Iraq.
The two-story apartment in a residential part of eastern Tijuana has three cots upstairs and a tiny kitchen Barajas refers to as a chow hall. Together, the vets call this place, “the bunker.”
Barajas served two stints in the Army, including in the 82nd Airborne.
But when he got out, he ran into trouble with the law. In 2002, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison for discharging a firearm from a vehicle. After prison he was deported, but then re-entered the U.S. illegally and was deported again in 2010, according to records from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Barajas, now 40, said he regrets his actions, but doesn’t like to dwell on the past.
“I paid dearly for it and I am taking responsibility for putting myself in that position,” he said. “As far as being a productive member of society, let’s move forward.”
In March, California Governor Jerry Brown pardoned Barajas and two other veterans, noting their honorable service in the military. That pardon clears a major obstacle, but doesn’t guarantee their return.
Barajas is hoping to get his legal status back and reunite with his family in Southern California, including his 11-year-old daughter.
For now, he spends his time helping other deported veterans - many of whom, he said, struggle after getting out of the military.
“Not too many people are willing to put on a uniform and go fight, and it’s the reason we have these freedoms today is because of these men and women,” he said. “When they came back, they came with trauma.
We have PTSD. It’s military, it’s connected to their service.
The reasons these men are going to make these mistakes and suffer is because of the military trauma.”
There are more than 11,000 non-citizens serving active duty in the military, according to the Pentagon.
About a decade ago, that number was three times as high. Legal permanent residents are eligible to serve, and doing so can expedite the naturalization process. But citizenship is not automatic and many veterans leave the military without obtaining it.
Some described a confusing and time-consuming process, made harder by deployments and frequent moves. Others said that because they had grown up mostly in the U.S., they felt American and didn’t think to apply, especially while focused on the demands of military service.” Continue to the article here.> Deported Veterans Hope To Return To Nation They Fought For
Read about one success story of a deported Veteran, 31-year-old Daniel Torres.
Excerpt from the article. “The success story of the deported veterans community is 31-year-old Daniel Torres.
He moved to the US from Mexico when he was 15 when his father got a job as anelectronic engineer in Utah.
At 18, his US visa expired but he stayed on illegally. At 21 he joined the Marine Corps.
“I said I was an American citizen when I wasn’t,” Daniel says.
He served in the army for four years, including a tour of Iraq, and had just signed up for a year-long deployment in Afghanistan when his chain of command discovered he was an undocumented immigrant.
They could have charged him with fraud but instead they let him leave the military when his contract expired.
“I couldn’t get employment, I couldn’t go to school, I couldn’t get a loan, I couldn’t do anything,” he says.
He left America voluntarily and moved back to Mexico where he went to law school, started working at the Deported Veterans Support House and applied for US citizenship.
It took five years, but last April he got it.
“My case was simple enough because I had no criminal record, I have no deportation record and they gave my citizenship,” he says.
He says being accepted back into the US felt “weird”.
“I had kind of given up on the United States,” he says.
“Then after a while I started realising we can make a difference — the biggest barrier was people didn’t know about it.
“Unless you were directly affected or a family member affected, no-one knew military members were being deported.
“So once we started breaking down that ignorance barrier we started seeing results, we started getting places,” he says.
He plans to move back to Utah to study law in the US to become a binational attorney.
But his victory is far from complete.
“I’m not celebrating until everyone gets to go home,” he says.” Continue to the article here and read about three others that aren’t so lucky, two you’ve already met from the other article.> ‘These men and women return only when they die’
It seems to me both Democrats and Republicans should be able to work together on this. It looks like for now it’s only the Democrats, Republicans should be ashamed.
“A number of our nation’s servicemembers are immigrants who answered the call to serve and protect our nation and our freedom,” said Rep. Vargas.
“These bills will ensure that immigrant servicemembers are well informed on their path to naturalization and allow veterans who have been deported to access the health care services they need.” More here.> Rep. Juan Vargas Reintroduces Deported Veterans Bill Package
BTW, despite attacks from the left, right and “The Lamestream Media” the President had a pretty impressive first six months.