Home Nonviolent defense Yes, block deportations of immigrants serving in the US military

Yes, block deportations of immigrants serving in the US military

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US Senator Tammy Duckworth thinks most Americans assume that when an undocumented immigrant serves honorably in the US military, it provides them and their families with an accelerated path to citizenship.

Count us among those Americans.

But where it was once true, this can apparently no longer be guaranteed. According to Duckworth in his June report “Immigrant Veterans: Deported by the Same Nation They Sacrificed to Defend,” a path to citizenship exists, but the Department of Defense and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services have not addressed the documents.

“We have cases where veterans have submitted documents with their unit believing everything was done, and they haven’t,” Duckworth, a Democrat with Hoffman Estates, told The New York Times. “And they don’t find out until they’re handed over to ICE.”

During the Trump administration, she says, immigrant stations at military bases began to be closed, which closed a lane for active duty military personnel to process their citizenship. The former administration also stopped honoring a promise made by Defense and Homeland Security not to deport family members of servicemen sent abroad.

Some arguments are nuanced. This one is simple. Anyone who commits to risking their life to defend the United States deserves the full support of our government. And while President Joe Biden has pledged to work to get veterans returned to the United States who have been deported, the problem, Duckworth says, is putting in place laws that will prevent this from happening again.

Doing this deserves a bipartisan approach in Congress. This is not a “democratic” issue – after all, it was President George W. Bush who signed an executive order allowing undocumented men and women to pass their citizenship.

Duckworth, one of the first women in the military to fly into combat who lost her legs during the Iraq war, says she served directly alongside undocumented servicemen who were key people in the unit . Under Bush’s executive order, she and others helped obtain their citizenship.

“I had done missions with them. I had slept in the mud with them,” she told The Times. “I’m like, ‘What would I do without these guys?’ So we rushed over and got them their citizenship. ”

Duckworth’s bill would ban the deportation of non-violent veterans and create a visa program allowing deported veterans to enter the United States as lawful permanent residents, so they can become naturalized citizens . The bill also extends military and veteran benefits to those who qualify.

Frankly, we are appalled that this is not happening already. Let’s do it.