Should undocumented veterans be given citizenship? | The Tylt
Should undocumented veterans be given citizenship?
Despite assurances from President Trump, undocumented veterans continue to be deported. The ACLU has found at least 300 cases where veterans have been deported. Many undocumented veterans, like many others, are coming back suffering from trauma after prolonged tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But unlike other veterans, undocumented veterans lack the same safety net provided by the office of Veteran Affairs because of draconian immigration laws that put undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation for the minor offenses.
Undocumented veterans put their lives on the line, just like the rest of the men and women they served with. It's not too much to ask to give them the very basic benefit of being able to live in the country they fought for.
“Any immigrant documented or otherwise who puts their life on the line to serve the United States in uniform should be entitled to their VA benefits and a peaceful life in our great nation. It is incomprehensible that we treat some veterans like criminals more than heroes,” Gallego said in a statement.
Immigration hard liners say there should be no exceptions to the immigration process, no matter who you are. It's about upholding the rule of law in the United States. There's a clear process to immigrate here and people must follow it. It's unfair to those who wait for years to obtain their citizenship.
Others point out that veterans must violate the law before they're targeted for deportation. Many of these undocumented veterans were caught for violent crimes or drug offenses that put them on the radar for deportation.
When it comes to noncitizens, Rummery says the law is clear. “If you’ve been convicted of certain offenses, it’s a deportable act,” says Rummery, “even for veterans." She added, “We don’t ask ourselves what’s fair or not fair. We’re simply here to administer the law. That’s what we’re charged with. That’s what we do.”