LULAC Marks Veterans Day 2020 With A Solemn Reminder
Nation’s Leading Latino Civil Rights Organization Says All Soldiers and Veterans Who Serve Honorably Deserve Equity
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today issued the following statement:
Domingo Garcia - LULAC National President
“On this Veterans Day, we say thank you to every man and woman who has put on a military uniform and stood watch over our nation, both during times of peace and in times of conflict. Latinos are a patriotic and loyal community whose sons and daughters, husbands and wives have often answered our country’s call for soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors and placed their lives on the line for the rest of us. We salute them and their families.
I also ask each of us to take a moment in memory of Vanessa Guillen and Gregory Morales, two young Army soldiers at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, and Enrique Roman-Martinez another young Army soldier at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They will never be able to complete their service to the nation because their lives were cut short by acts of violence. However, LULAC is proud of the fact that the community’s cry for justice is being heard and the main gate at the Army’s largest military base has been renamed the Vanessa Guillen Gate in her memory. LULAC continues to press for justice in the matters of Gregory Morales and Enrique Roman-Martinez.
May America always remember that men and women of all races and backgrounds have come together in our armed services. They are an example to all of us of how we must be united now as a country following an historic election and where our future as a nation depends on defending the civil rights of every person who lives in the United States.”
Queta L. Rodriguez, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
“Throughout our nation’s history, young men and women from communities across our country have stepped up to serve, protect our freedom and defend our way of life. From the barrios to the suburbs, from big cities to rural America, these warriors have faced physical and mental challenges that many could not imagine.”
We give a special recognition to the women who have served, those who do not always come to mind when people think of a ‘veteran’ and who have not always been treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. We see you and we are forever grateful for your service. We owe all of our veterans a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. During our best and worst times, we have persevered because these men and women represent the best of who we are – a beautiful, diverse country with the promise of being an example to the world, of freedom, equality and opportunity. Our nation is stronger because of them. To all who have served, we thank you. Your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Carlos Luna - Navy Veteran, Co-founder and President of LULAC Council #5310: Green Card Veterans
“Veterans Day 2020 is an opportunity to address a glaring inequity for immigrants who serve in our nation’s armed forces. Until U.S. immigrant service members are presented with an equitable pathway to naturalization, any immigration proposal introduced in president-elect Biden’s first 100 days should seek to protect them from deportation by making immigrant service members into U.S. nationals. Doing so would mean the U.S. recognizes and respects the commitment, loyalty, and service immigrants in the military perform on behalf of the nation every day. Making immigrants who serve the U.S. nationals protects them from potentially becoming deported if they, for one reason or another, fail to naturalize while serving. Being a U.S. national will ensure immigrant service members are able to use the benefits afforded to all veterans.
Unfortunately, immigrant service members and veterans are not provided the same safety net of resiliency after serving prison sentences. The U.S. undermines the value of duty to country when it excludes veterans who suffered trauma in the military, and on behalf of the State, from interventions developed after their offense. On this Veterans Day, please remember those deported immigrant service members unable to live within the shores of the nation they helped protect.”
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/