Stop Deporting Our Veterans... And Bring Home The Ones Already Deported!
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Hector Barajas Deported Veterans Support House
Article by Lida Dianti
“To some U.S. veterans, the tragedy of war is more than the violence or conflict on the ground. It is a shadow that follows them home in the form of unemployment, PTSD and substance abuse. Non-citizen veterans—despite spending years of their lives defending this country—must not only unpack shell shock but also face the threat of deportation.”
The United States Government has been deporting Honorably Discharged United States Veterans since 1996 that served in wars such as Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan for both serious offenses and many are as minor as too many traffic tickets.
Our veterans have been caught in the same action that has led to the removal of record numbers of convicted criminals who were staying in the U.S. without legal permission!
These patriotic individuals from varying Nationalities had no idea that when they finished paying their debt to society they would be punished again. Hector Barajas, founder and director of the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana, Mexico is a prime example of this form of double punishment. Having served their prison, county, or state sentences and then to be deported is a Double Jeopardy.
The majority of deported veterans suffer from PTSD. There is no treatment for PTSD in Mexico. These veterans are going untreated due to their deportation. The irony is that their problems with PTSD and chemical addictions are a primary reason for their deportation in many cases.
With known veteran suicides of 22 veterans a day, over 8000 a year, to leave these Heroes to go untreated is criminal!
These veterans are being denied access to the Veterans Administration Health Care System not because they cannot be seen at the VA, but because they cannot enter the United States to be seen at a VA.
Not only are they separated from their loved ones, they are being denied adequate healthcare!
Mexico, like many of the other countries our veterans have been deported to have third world healthcare at best. Gonzalo D. Chaidez, an Army veteran, died of Tuberculosis in Tijuana, Mexico. Gonzalo spent his last days with members of the Deported Veterans Support House group there.
Had Gonzalo had access to the VA he would probably still be alive today!
They will also be calling for President Obama to end the policy of deporting veterans who have served in the United States Military.
On April 20th of this year a bill (The Restoring Respect for Immigrant Service in Uniform Act) was introduced by Arizona congressman Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) that would allow U.S. veterans who had been deported and not committed a serious crime back into the country. This is but one of numerous efforts to bring our veterans home and stop this unjust practice.
“AMERICAN U.S MILITARY VETERANS FACING DEPORTATION OR PREVIOUSLY DEPORTED TO BE RECOGNIZED AS U.S NATIONALS
CALL FOR THE UNITED STATES CODE TO CLEARLY STATE:
“The following shall be nationals*, but not citizens of the United States: (1) A person who, by conscription or enlistment, entered any branch of the United States armed forces. This shall be retroactive to service persons previously removed from the United States.”
LEGAL RATIONALE:*The United States Code currently provides that the term “national of the United States” means:(A) a citizen of the United States, or(B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States. 8 U.S.C. 1101(a) (22)
Service Members Have Taken a Permanent Oath of Allegiance Oath of Enlistment. Federal law requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the Armed Forces of the United States to take the enlistment oath. This oath is a permanent oath of allegiance to the United States of America. The oath is traditionally performed in front of the United States Flag and other flags, such as the state flag, military branch flag and states:
“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
The Oath of Enlistment is quite similar to the Oath of Citizenship which is also a permanent oath of allegiance to the United States of America.
Director and Founder Deported Veterans Support House
Leave No Man Behind
"If we are good enough to serve & die for our Country and be buried as American Veterans. We should be allowed to live with our American Families!"
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