Veterans on Brink of Deportation Fight to Gain US Citizenship

By Luis Treto They risked their lives to defend the United States, serving for years in the armed forces, sometimes in combat. But now hundreds, possibly thousands, of veterans like Ekaterina Bautista are on the brink of being deported. "Since 2009 until now, we have been trying to have my citizenship granted, especially because I served in combat in Iraq," Bautista told NBC4's sister station Telemundo 52 in a report that aired Wednesday. A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of California titled "Discharged, Then Discarded" documented the deportation of 84 veterans, who were all deported or in the process of being deported, for minor offenses such as the one committed by Mario Martinez. Continue reading

‘Discarded’ vets deserve better

The American Civil Liberties Union has long been an easy punching bag for its embrace of unpopular causes and its legal advocacy for the people and groups espousing them. But maybe not so easy this time, for this group. In a report titled “Discharged, Then Discarded,” the ACLU of California documented scores of cases of foreign-born U.S. veterans who are either facing deportation or have already been deported, many for minor violations or for illegal immigrant status that they believed their military service had automatically resolved. “They are members of what is unfortunately a growing brotherhood — veterans of the United States armed forces who have been unceremoniously deported,” the ACLU said in a prepared statement published by, among other media outlets, the Los Angeles Times. “Many are combat veterans who sustained physical wounds and emotional trauma in conflicts going back to the war in Vietnam. Many have been decorated for their service. But service records notwithstanding, the U.S. has seen fit to kick them out of the country, sometimes for minor offenses that resulted in little if any incarceration.” Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/opinion/article88261052.html#storylink=cpy  

Congressman, Ted Lieu’s Statement on ACLU of Deported Veterans

Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu issued the following statement regarding ACLU of California’s report on deportation of Veterans. The statement was delivered by a representative at today’s ACLU press conference announcing their report. “I want to thank ACLU of California for its ground-breaking report to shine a light on an unconscionable practice in the United States that requires immediate action. As an immigrant and a Veteran who previously served on active duty, I believe there is perhaps no greater injustice in our immigration system than the deportation of Veterans. The report documents the cases of 84 Veterans who have been unjustly forced out of the country or are facing deportation following their service and highlights the significant consequences. These deported Veterans are often never notified they were eligible to apply for citizenship and, in some cases, are permanently barred from returning. To make matters worse, they often leave behind families. It is simply incomprehensible that we treat some Veterans more like criminals than heroes. Continue reading

The U.S. Has Been Unfairly Deporting Veterans For Years, ACLU Alleges

Adolfo Flores BuzzFeed News Reporter The U.S. government has for years been unfairly deporting veterans after botching their naturalization process, leaving them alone abroad and without access to adequate medical care, the ACLU alleges in a new report. The findings released on Wednesday are based on interviews with 59 veterans from 22 countries who have been deported or are fighting their deportation. Of those, 31 of were brought to the U.S. before the age of 10. Another 14 served in Vietnam, 11 during the Desert Storm era, and 13 after 9/11, according to the ACLU. “The United States should not be deporting U.S. vets,” Jennie Pasquarella, director of immigrants’ rights for the ACLU of California, said Wednesday. “Rather than help them re-enter civilian life, the U.S. government turns its back on them and kicks them out.” Continue reading

ACLU says US deporting 'untold number' of military veterans

Feliks Garcia New York  @feliksjose  Countless foreign-born US veterans were deported after the federal government failed to assist in their naturalisation process, a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union said. According to the report, many of the soldiers, whose service dated back to the Vietnam War, were deported after facing charges for minor misdemeanors – which can be deportable offences – and courts were not allowed to consider military service.  Continue reading

ACLU report slams US government for ‘bungling’ cases of foreign-born vets

By Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Daily New The American Civil Liberties Union of California is accusing the federal government of failing to ensure veterans are granted citizenship after serving in the military. ACLU tracked 84 foreign-born veterans who’d been deported or are facing deportation because he or she committed crimes that sparked their expulsion. Those veterans should have been considered for citizenship, which would have allowed them to stay in the country after their release from prison or jail, according to the ACLU. In some cases, the U.S. government lost, misplaced or failed to file the applications of veterans who applied for naturalization, the ACLU’s 60-page report found.     Many veterans mistakenly believed they became U.S. citizens when they joined the military. Recruiters in some cases told them as much, the ACLU report found. The veterans “should all be U.S. citizens today, at home with their loved ones, but they languish in unfamiliar and often dangerous foreign places unable in many cases to speak the native language, because of bureaucratic bungling and government indifference,” according to the report.     Continue reading

Report finds Uncle Sam has deported a shocking number of U.S. veterans

By Jorge Rivas A new report has found that the U.S. government, since the end of the Vietnam War, has deported 239 undocumented veterans who—for one reason or another—hadn’t naturalized as U.S. citizens. And the number could be much higher. The report, released Wednesday by the ACLU of California, blames the U.S. government for failing to ensure its service members became naturalized citizens during their military careers—a move that would have protected them from deportation. The report says that each of the 239 deported veterans were entitled to citizenship because of their military service. The report, titled Discharged, Then Discarded, includes in-depth analysis of the cases of 59 veterans who were ousted from the United States or are currently facing deportation proceedings. In some cases, the federal government lost, misplaced or failed to file the applications for veterans who applied for citizenship. Continue reading

U.S. government failed deported vets, ACLU report says

By Tatiana Sanchez Contact Reporter Hundreds of foreign-born veterans have been deported over the years for sometimes minor crimes because the U.S. government didn’t help them get naturalized during their military service — even though a major benefit of enlistment is supposed to be expedited citizenship, the American Civil Liberties Union of California said Wednesday. In a new report issued from San Diego, the organization alleged that federal officials often fail to provide adequate information and resources to help qualifying military personnel become naturalized. The deficiencies have led many service members to wrongly believe their military duty automatically makes them U.S. citizens, the report said. In reality, those individuals only have a green card or some other legal status that still enables the government to deport them if they commit certain crimes. Continue reading

VETERANS BEING DEPORTED, UNAWARE OF ELIGIBILITY TO OBTAIN CITIZENSHIP, ACLU REPORT SAYS

Among the U.S. troops risking their lives in military combat, the ACLU California reports there are untold numbers who serve with a secret. They are non-citizens such as retired Marine Daniel Torres, who was deployed in Iraq and swept for IED's."My company was able to find and destroy about 1,500 pounds of weapons and explosives during my deployment. I didn't want to be another Mexican taking somebody else's job. I wanted to do be able to say I had put in my 2 cents for this country," Torres said.Torres was deported when his illegal status was revealed. To his surprise, he found a military support house in Tijuana, Mexico. There were dozens of deported veterans unaware of their eligibility to obtain U.S. citizenship or unable to challenge the system."Seventy-three percent of vets face deportation without a lawyer," co-author of the ACLU report, Jennie Pasquarella, said. Continue reading

Report: Federal officials complicit in deportation of U.S. veterans

The federal government lost, misplaced or failed to file the naturalization applications for dozens of foreign-born U.S. veterans who were later deported or face deportation, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of California. The report titled “Discharged, Then Discarded” documents 84 cases involving veterans. “They are members of what is unfortunately a growing brotherhood — veterans of the United States armed forces who have been unceremoniously deported,” the ACLU said in a statement. “Many are combat veterans who sustained physical wounds and emotional trauma in conflicts going back to the war in Vietnam. Many have been decorated for their service. But service records notwithstanding, the U.S. has seen fit to kick them out of the country, sometimes for minor offenses that resulted in little if any incarceration.” Continue reading