LULAC CELEBRATES ITS HISTORIC VICTORIES ON BEHALF OF SERVICEMEMBERS AND VETERANS AS IT URGES AMERICA TO REMEMBER ALL WHO HAVE SERVED HONORABLY
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Marks Milestone Achievements Including Vanessa Guillen Act, Naming of Fort Cavazos, The Brandon Act, and Demands Action to Repatriate Our Deported Veterans
November 11, 2023
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Washington, DC – LULAC marks this Veterans Day with a proud celebration of historic achievements: The Vanessa Guillen Act protecting service men and women against military sexual trauma, the successful campaign leading to the naming of Ft. Cavazos as the Army's first military installation honoring a Latino hero, the Brandon Act that now enables servicemembers in a mental health crisis to get help without requesting permission or fearing retaliation, and the landmark push focusing new attention on the injustice of deporting military veterans who have served honorably.
Picture # 2: President Domingo Garcia speaking in Austin, Texas, during the presentation of the LULAC Presidential Medal to Teri and Patrick Caserta, Gold Star parents of Brandon Caserta.
"These are extraordinary times for LULAC and the victories for our military men and women," says LULAC National President Domingo Garcia. "Time and again, we have been to the Pentagon and Congress to fight for our brave Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Guardians. I am proud that history will say, under our watch, we did our duty and now must bring back the brave who have been kicked out after serving with honor. No one will be left behind, no one!" pledges Garcia.
Picture # 3: President Domingo Garcia at "The Bunker" in Tijuana, Mexico. With him are U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Carlos Luna, a Green Card Veteran, and Miguel Ortiz, a Repatriated Deported Veteran.
Indeed, this is the right moment in our history to recommit America to its duty to all Veterans. Hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign-born U.S. military veterans convicted of crimes have been deported. The vast majority completed incarceration and were then forced to leave the land they defended. Only about 83 veterans have returned under a 2021 executive order by President Biden.
Picture # 4: Deported Veterans at the Border
"All our service men and women are promised the privilege of living in the land for which they put their lives on the line," says Roman Palomares, Chair of the LULAC Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. "Yet scores of them, after falling into trouble with the law, have been banished from the United States in breach of our commitment to veterans. We have broken our word even though they have already paid their debt to society. We can do better and must before it is too late for them," adds Palomares.
Picture # 5: A Deported Mom.
President Biden's policy is a temporary fix that fails to protect those still living in the U.S. from being forced out and possibly killed or recruited by criminal organizations looking to profit from their skill sets. As of June 21, 2022, the IMMVI team received 143 inquiries from veterans outside the U.S. due to removal or other issues restricting their return.
Picture # 6: Vet Coalition Advocating for Deported Vets on Capitol Hill.
"We honor the selfless service of all veterans, including those who, despite defending our nation with courage and dedication, find themselves deported from the very land they protected," says Danitza "Dee" James, M.S.W.-Chair, Subcommittee on Deported Veterans and CEO of Repatriate Our Patriots. "Since our nation's founding, noncitizens have served in the U.S. military and have fought in every major war despite their citizenship status. Their stories remind us of the inherent bond that transcends borders—a shared commitment to safeguarding the principles and freedoms we hold dear."
INVITATION: In a heartfelt tribute, you're invited to join us at the virtual screening of "Bring Them Home" on Sunday, November 12, from 9-10 am PST, hosted by the Subcommittee on Deported Veterans. Beyond a mere screening, this event is a call to action—a moment to unite, amplify our voices, and break the silence surrounding those who have served in the shadows for far too long. Stick around for a Q&A discussion as we unite to make a difference. Please register here. To learn how you can support, go to www.defendourvets.com. For more information on how to get involved, contact email@example.com.