LULAC Applauds Biden Administration For July 4th Surprise Plan Announcement: Let’s Return Deported Vets And Their Families
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says The Time to Bring Back Our Abandoned Vets is Now!
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) continues to wage its five-year battle to repatriate Latino men and women who defended our country as servicemembers in our armed forces, and were later banished from the United States. It is a sentence that for the rest of their lives leaves them far from their homes and families. News arrived on the eve of this July 4th weekend that Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is starting a new initiative to allow these deported former soldiers the chance to once again step on the soil they helped defend.
“This is the best news that America could receive this July 4th,” says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “Our Declaration of Independence celebrations sound hollow when the very people who helped defend our freedoms can only see their home through cracks in a border fence. It’s long overdue that no soldier who served this country faithfully and loyally is ever again subjected to the shame of being deported. Service in uniform ought to have earned them citizenship for life!” he adds.
The new plan will allow deported non-citizen veterans and their immediate families to receive all the VA benefits to which they are legally entitled and earned for their service. They will have access to healthcare including the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, federal agencies are being directed to assist current and former non-citizen servicemembers and families to be allowed to remain or return to the United States and receive assistance to have them naturalized, and have access to immigration services. Each case of a deported non-citizen veteran will now receive a fresh review of the circumstances and facts.
“It’s great to see recommendations we and other advocates have made over recent years being embraced by President Biden’s administration,” says Carlos Luna, President of the LULAC Green Card Veterans. “We look forward to working with our government to finally reunite separated military families; rather than having to fight against their efforts to separate them,” adds Luna.
“In the relatively short time I spent in exile, I met dozens of deported veterans who didn’t have the champions for change I had in Chicago,” says Miguel Perez, a deported Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan. He was granted clemency by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker for a drug conviction. Perez served seven years and was subsequently removed from the United States. “It’s great to see our President showing his love for the veteran community in a way that is meaningful to those left out for so long; I can’t wait to welcome them all home!” he adds. Perez is now a U.S. citizen.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/