Full US Citizenship Automatically for All Honorably Discharged US Military Veterans

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Congress must change US immigration law to immediately grant full US citizenship to all honorably discharged veterans, past, present and future.

While Congress acts, the US Department of Defense must assist all currently serving immigrants to apply for full citizenship as a part of all discharge processing. Simultaneously, the US Department of Veterans Affairs must contact all honorably discharged immigrants and assist them in applying for full US citizenship.

Finally the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must cease the deportation of all honorably discharged US veterans until these veterans have applied for full citizenship and those applications reviewed and acted upon.

Some 65,000 green card holders now serve in the military, according to the Pentagon. Some of the men who serve never became full citizens, instead remaining legal permanent residents or another designation that allows them to live in the U.S. legally.

Immigrants have always made up a portion of the Armed Forces in America — joining the U.S. military has always been one of the fastest ways to get U.S. citizenship. About 8,000 troops with green cards became citizens that way last year alone.

But it doesn't happen automatically. And veterans who did not go through the process of becoming citizens — they can be deported, if they get in trouble later on, just like any other noncitizen.

http://www.npr.org/2016/01/13/462372040/service-members-not-citizens-meet-the-veterans-who-have-been-deported

The American Civil Liberties Union documented at least 84 veterans in the process of being deported or already exiled from the U.S., despite having served honorably in the military.

http://www.npr.org/2016/07/06/484987308/aclu-report-documents-deportation-of-u-s-veterans

And some of these military personnel have been deported after committing crimes like remaining in the US after their visa expires, voting in US elections, reporting themselves as US citizens when applying for benefits, mortgages, etc. A few come commit crimes like writing bad checks, petty drug offenses or driving under the influence.

The Department of Homeland Security, which handles and tracks deportations, doesn’t count how many veterans have been deported, but experts who study the issue say the number is in the thousands and that veterans have been deported to more than 25 different countries.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/served-country-now-cant-live/

 

Recent episode of the CBS drama NCIS (Home fo the Brave S14-E7) has brought the deportation of veterans to the attention of social media. 

https://www.facebook.com/DeportedVeteransSupportHousePage/

Our veterans have sacrificed to preserve our freedom, it is time that we act to preserve theirs. Sign this Petition Today.



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