[Editor’s Note: You may remember my post in February 2015 about deported veteran Hector Barajas. Since then, Hector has pushed for reform of the immigration system and also for his own return home. Today, I print the following press release.]
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Contact: Erin Hatch, 202-225-3236
San Diego, CA – On Saturday, June 3, seven members of Congress will visit the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana, Mexico to meet with veterans who have been deported from the United States. During the visit, Reps. Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), Lou Correa (CA-46), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Juan Vargas (CA-51), and Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) will tour the facility and hear the veterans’ personal stories. Followed by the congressional visit, Chairman of Honorably Discharged, Dishonorably Deported (HDDD), Nathan Fletcher will be there alongside Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (CA-80), and Norma Chavez-Peterson San Diego and Imperial Counties Director for the ACLU.
HDDD is a coalition who has worked alongside the ACLU to bring deported veterans back home through legislation, advocacy, and education. On April 15, 2017 Governor Brown pardoned 3 deported veterans from the crimes they committed. These pardons will be presented to the veterans on this day. Earlier this year, the HDDD coalition formally requested pardons from Governor Brown for honorably discharged veterans deported after serving time for criminal convictions. Although non-citizen service members are entitled to full citizenship, a systematic breakdown in ensuring the completion of their naturalization process made them subject to deportation. Attorneys for the veterans believe the pardons will allow the veterans to successfully apply for citizenship and eventually return to the United States.
A 2016 report by the ACLU estimates that the United States has deported more than 230 veterans. In 2016, there were 300,000 foreign-born U.S veterans living in the United States; 97,000 of those veterans were non-citizens. It is estimated 30,000 of these non-citizen veterans live in San Diego and Los Angeles. This event will highlight the plight of the veterans who have been torn from their families and forced to live away from their homes. These veterans were promised citizenship upon being recruited but through a series of bureaucratic failures did not receive the status they were entitled to after being honorably discharged.
Press is welcome to be present for the duration of the members’ time at the Deported Veterans Support House, and members will hold a media availability on the premises at the end of their visit.
WHO: Several deported veterans and their family members
- Joaquin Castro (TX-20), First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
- Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
- Lou Correa (CA-46)
- Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)
- Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
- Juan Vargas (CA-51)
- Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44)
- Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (CA-80), Assemblymember
- Nathan Fletcher, HDDD Chairman
- Norma Chavez-Peterson, ACLU Director
WHAT: Visit to the Deported Veterans Support House followed by media availability
DATE: Saturday, June 3, 2017
TIME: Members will arrive at the Support House at approximately 11:45 a.m. PST, and a media availability will be held at approximately 12:50 p.m. PST. Pardons will be presented at 1:30 p.m. PST.
LOCATION: Deported Veterans Support House
Calle Calzada Tecnolojico near El Colejio Tecnolojico
Calle Juan Alvarez 1821
Fracc. Tomas Aquino, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
RSVP: Please RSVP before Friday to Erin Hatch at Erin.Hatch@mail.house.gov
For information on DeportedVets.org or to arrange an interview with Nathan please contact Heidi Martinez at email@example.com