Our Military Motto Is “Leave No Man Behind”
Shouldn’t that include deported military who served honorably in our armed forces?
Those who served our country honorably deserve to have their cases heard.
A group of Mexicans who served with the US military in Vietnam and Iraq only to be deported held a Veterans Day protest on Saturday in the border city Ciudad Juarez.
I rarely stand with MSM on anything they write — except this is an important issue.
The military mustered into its ranks men who for some reason believed in our country and its value enough to sign up even though they were not legally naturalized citizens at the time. They either believed that they would finally achieve citizenship status or were led to believe that their service had value and worth enough to overlook their status.
In the military, the motto is “LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND”
yet in this case the military has blatantly fallen down on their promise.
If these men and women believed strongly enough in our country and our way of life that they willingly took an oath to uphold its protection, then WHY ARE THEY DEPORTED? This is totally unacceptable. Now, before people believe I am a bleeding heart liberal – “ain-n-n-t”. I expect that each man and woman receive the same courtesy and the same vetting that any hopeful legal immigrant would have to answer. I expect that on a case-by-case basis each veteran military member have their records reviewed.
For those that have honorable records, have broken no military or criminal laws, and deserve to enter then make it happen now. These are our military men and women who poured blood, sweat, and tears into service for our country. Granted if they didn’t personally chose to pursue legal status, I can see that the consequences merit the citizenship deportation action–but they should know, as should everyone, why.
However, at the same time if the military didn’t bother to check out their backgrounds but allowed a military recruit to go past basic training without background check–that is the fault of the military system and a serious national security breach. Not only does it put the person in an awkward position but ultimately could put the entire mission , troop, or base in jeopardy.
There should be no reason the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can’t accept and expedite the process for applications of a couple of hundred people not some year far in the future but now.
There are said to be between 200 – 300 men and women with individual stories who have been deported in the last thirty years. That seems a small number but not when we see so many who do not deserve to be here receive aid, support, and permanent status while these people are shuffled off and forgotten except by a few.
Why hasn’t the military reviewed their individual cases and helped those who served honorably to be fast-tracked to citizenship? We fast tracked illegal immigrants and refugees to become permanent citizens so why are these men sitting across the border and unable to return to homes in the US and to lives where they can continue as citizens? If their naturalization was not happening, then why did the military willingly and eagerly enlist them?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers a generous pathway for veteran immigrants to receive legal citizenship, especially if the veteran served in combat. But as one officer said, not all choose to take advantage of the opportunity. This could then put their legal status in jeopardy. So why aren’t they tracked and required in short order to choose to follow the pathway? If they choose to not follow the option, then why are they allowed to continue to be a soldier?
Unauthorized immigrants are not permitted to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces–so we are told—although they are required to register for Selective Service and are subject to the military draft. Yet not only did that happen but these men served some for a long time and apparently a few as Vietnam soldiers. If they are “unauthorized”, how does one say they to have to register for duty? That makes no sense. Unauthorized vs must sign for enlistment – Really?
Another issue – Current law requires those that unlawfully enter the US have to leave and to seek an immigrant visa—but once they depart to seek a visa after having been in the United States unlawfully for more than a year — the law bans them from coming back to the United States for ten years. Isn’t that counter-productive? Why not six months or a year? Waivers of this ten-year bar are difficult to obtain, and immigration authorities have denied them to military family members.
If all of these are issues then why were these men and women not pushed to either complete the process or leave the service while in the military? That makes more sense than allowing them to continue to put their lives on the line, receive benefits and pay, or retire from a military branch then get kicked to the curb.
Generally speaking, the armed forces require enlistees to be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders). Some foreigners who are present legally in the United States and have a valid Social Security Number may enlist if their enlistment is “vital to the national interest”. So how come these soldiers were enlisted?
Here is another reason why allowing the “sanctuary” protection, the illegal use of social security numbers, or state supplied drivers licenses to illegals needed for different applications can complicate an already dificult situation. Isn’t there some kind of data search request to a social security office that can confirm the legal status of an applicant social security number immediately–like dead or stolen identity?
Under the wartime statute, Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 329, any non-citizen who serves honorably during specified periods of conflict may naturalize as a U.S. citizen, even if he or she does not yet have a green card. This law allows enlistees to naturalize almost immediately upon joining the military if they serve during a specified period of conflict.
The post-9/11 period of conflict allows for these expedited naturalizations as a result of an executive order issued by President George W. Bush; since 2009, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have therefore facilitated the naturalization of most recruits upon graduation from basic training. Since 9/11, more than 85,000 non-citizens have naturalized through service in the military under this law and its corresponding executive order.
The peacetime naturalization law, Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 328, allows anyone with a green card and one year of military service to naturalize, even if he or she has not served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
Waivers of this ten-yearbar are difficult to obtain, and immigration authorities have denied them to military family members. Accordingly, in 2010 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano advised members of Congress that the Department of Homeland Security would provide special administrative remedies to military families, including “parole in place,” deferred action, and joint motions to reopen old deportation or removal orders. These remedies would assist military families in adjusting status in the United States so that the family members would not have to depart the United States and wait overseas (often in dangerous places) for visa processing.
So how did these men fall through the cracks? The new administration has an obligation to find a way to help these men and women. We know much of what happened in the last eight years was often not following the law; but when these people signed up and served, they thought the USA would follow through on its promises. Time now to handle the review and naturalization of those that can qualify. This isn’t a big thing in the scheme of all that has been happening but someone lied to in this way — is one too many.
The story behind this powerful photo of deported military veterans saluting the U.S. flag
November 16, 2017
The men stood on a concrete island in the middle of Cordova International Bridge, where people leaving the Mexican city of Juarez cross the border to El Paso.
It was Memorial Day, when U.S. soldiers honor fallen service members by kneeling in front of a battlefield memorial — a symbolic cross formed with the soldier’s helmet, rifle, boots and, sometimes, dog tags.
The six men standing a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border did the same May 29, albeit a bit differently: They didn’t have a helmet or a rifle, so they improvised using a U.S. flag perched on a concrete cylinder. A pair of desert combat boots was also on the concrete block.
“The boots represent the soldiers that are not here with us no more, the missing soldiers,” Ivan Ocon said.
Ocon stood at the front of the group that day, with both hands to his sides as he stared into the distance.
The other men lined up horizontally behind him, saluting.
Together, the men paid homage to fallen U.S. soldiers while wearing black T-shirts that described who they are: “Deported Veterans.”
Read article HERE.
Look, if these people drug their heels or more likely were ignored and forgotten–isn’t it time to rectify the problem? The way I understand it from what I read, a duly authorized representative can go anywhere needed to perform the naturalization oath and handle the fine print. So these people could essentially have someone cross over to them after working with the Mexican government and either transport them back to the US or confirm their legal right to be naturalized. This is not a multimillion dollar welfare program but the honoring of their service.
We can not begin to heal as a nation, if we do not live up to our word. If these people did serve honorably and there is no reason for them to lanquish in another country, then bring them home. If these people were promised at sign up and for some reason were ignored or fell through the cracks, then there is now time and an administration who will work to help them hopefully. But this should NEVER have happened before and NEVER, EVER happen again.
Leaving honorable military members behind in a foreign country is NOT acceptable.