Despite a campaign pledge to allow undocumented immigrants who served or plan to serve in the U.S. military, Donald Trump’s administration has been deporting veterans with a vengeance.
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) gave a scathing interview to the Rio Grande Guardian on Sunday condemning Trump’s mistreatment of undocumented veterans. Gonzalez puts the number of vets deported in 2017 at an astounding 1400, give or take.
Gonzalez, not content to merely lambast the Trump regime, is starting a big push for bipartisan legislation that will protect all of our veterans, regardless of their immigration status. He explains,
“I am looking for a Republican colleague to join me in this effort. It is the most American thing to do. To take [care] of our veterans who fought for us. Many were highly decorated veterans that were in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of them came hope [sic] with high levels of PTSD. We didn’t offer them the mental healthcare they needed to transition them back into society.”
Gonzalez is hoping to strike a deal with a Republican who is willing to cosponsor this legislation. America is deeply divided right now, but hopefully we can still find common ground when it comes to giving our servicemen and women the respect they have earned.
Patriotism might be the one force that can bring our representatives together.
Gonzalez dispels the myth that undocumented immigrants who are deported are dangerous and deserving of expulsion:
“These are folks who have never had any legal trouble in their life. They were discharged honorably. They get into a little trouble and they are deported.”
He continues to explain that the deportation of veterans is so well concealed from the public that he was not even aware of the situation until he arrived in Congress at the beginning of this session.
Gonzolez says, “Nobody talks about [this issue]. We need to bring more attention to it. It is a real indictment on our country to deport people who have defended us. If you fought for this country, you certainly deserve to live in it.”
We hope that common decency will finally prevail and Gonzalez will manage to protect our undocumented veterans, people who have already put their lives on the line to protect us.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.