LULAC Condemns Cruel Deportations Of U.S. Veterans, Military Families Separation

Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Calls on USCIS to end family separation, deportations of military families following today’s House Committee hearing

Washington, D.C. – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) leadership and LULAC Green Card Veterans Council condemn the deportations of U.S. service members and veterans’ family members following today’s U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship hearing on the “Impact of Current Immigration Policies on Service Members and Veterans, and their Families.”

The hearing came after reports show active-duty personnel and veteran families are increasingly facing deportation orders under the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy. Witnesses at the Congressional hearing highlighted the cases of U.S. Marine Jose Segovia-Benítez who was abruptly deported back to El Salvador after suffering traumatic brain injury from combat, and veteran Miguel Perez who was pardoned by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker after being deported almost a year and a half ago.

"Our servicemembers and military families are constantly making sacrifices on behalf of America, including continuous time away from loved ones and enduring a demanding career as part of their service,” stated Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “The idea that this Administration would deport our veterans after they have displayed true commitment to defend our freedom is unthinkable. This administration’s actions are speaking louder than its words and they are not honoring or protecting our service members, veterans and their families. As we saw in the House hearing today, ICE ignores its own policies regarding deportation of veterans, even when the majority of these cases are based on bogus convictions that could have been avoided with proper medical or legal resources. Even when this Administration turns its back on veterans and their families, LULAC remains strongly committed to helping them fight against cruel family separation policies. We call on Members of Congress to investigate and conduct oversight over these cases before it’s too late.”

“The men and women who bravely defended our country in combat deserve the peace of mind that they will not be deported from the same country they risked their lives to serve,” stated Sindy Benavides, LULAC CEO. “We applaud the Congressional Members who today expressed solidarity and are taking action for Mr. Segovia-Benítez and the other cases of military families facing deportation. LULAC stands ready to work with Congress to ensure comprehensive legislation is introduced and passed to prevent a recurrence of these deportations in the future.”

“If our military men and women had the medical resources needed after their service, they would likely never see a courtroom,” stated Carlos Luna, President of Green Card Veterans. “If veterans had the resources for legal representation, they would have never ended up in deportation proceedings causing a dire disruption separating families across our nation. We hope today’s hearing served as a wake-up call for Members of Congress to end deceptive tactics by ICE officials to silence immigrants who fought to defend and serve our country.”

For more background information on U.S. Marine Jose Segovia-Benitez, please see LULAC's Memorandum to interested parties.

About LULAC
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest 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 critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/

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