Congressional Hispanic Caucus Applauds Markup of the Veteran Service Recognition Act

Jul 27, 2022
Press Release

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Sebastian Roa

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on the Judiciary held a markup for the Veteran Service Recognition Act that would prevent the unjust deportation of veterans from the country they once served.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), in addition to this bill, has long advocated for relief and a pathway to citizenship for immigrant servicemembers and veterans seeking naturalization and assistance with deportation cases. Previously, the CHC sent a letter to relevant agencies requesting a briefing on the status of IMMVI and highlighted key resources developed by this initiative.

We thank Rep. Mark Takano, Chairman of the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee, Rep. Jerrod Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Zoe Lofegren, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, CHC Chair Dr. Raul Ruiz, CHC Vice Chair of Policy Rep. Darren Soto, and CHC Members Reps. Juan Vargas, Lou Correa, Veronica Escobar, Sylvia Garcia, and Salud Carbajal for their advocacy on this important topic.  

Chair Raul Ruiz M.D, Vice Chair of Policy Rep. Darren Soto,  Rep. Juan Vargas, Rep. Luis “Lou” Correa, Rep. Veronica Escobar, Rep. Sylvia Garcia, and Rep. Salud Carbajal issued the following statements:

“There are no second-class veterans. If you fight and risk your life for our country, you should stay in our country. That’s why, the Veteran Service Recognition Act aims to prevent the deportation of noncitizen servicemembers and gives them due process in America and a fair shot at a pathway to citizenship. After today’s markup, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will continue to push this bill forward as we send a clear message: if you fight for America, America fights for you,” said Chair Raul Ruiz, M.D.

“We demand a lot from the men and women who choose to serve in our military, and yet today, many live in fear that the very country they fight to protect might soon tear their own families apart. We are pleased to see the Judiciary Committee pass the Veteran Service Recognition Act — which includes parts of our Protect Patriot Spouses Act — to help fix our immigration system and prioritize families,” said Vice Chair of Policy Rep. Darren Soto.

“Immigrant servicemembers and veterans risk their lives to keep us safe, and they deserve a pathway to citizenship,” said Rep. Juan Vargas. “The Veteran Service Recognition Act is an important step toward giving our immigrant veterans the opportunity to become U.S. citizens. We should not turn our backs on those who put their lives on the line to secure and defend our freedoms. People who serve our country deserve to stay in our country.”

“All gave some, and some made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation. Immigrant service members risk their lives, and immigrant Veterans risked their lives to protect our Nation. After immigrant Vets serve, they return to fight another battle, to become American citizens,” said Rep. Luis “Lou” Correa. As a Member of Congress, one of my top priorities is to assist our immigrant service members, and Veterans to become citizens. I will continue to work to pass legislation that will grant them the benefits they have rightfully earned and deserve, including American Citizenship. Our immigrant Vets have earned citizenship.”

“Our servicemembers deserve our respect and gratitude, not threats of deportation. It’s time to grant all immigrants in our armed forces citizenship. It is the least we could do for the sacrifices they’ve made,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar.

“Ensuring everyone who has bravely served our Nation is treated with respect and honor, regardless of their immigration status, must be our priority,” said Rep. Sylvia Garcia. “Each and every one of our veterans and service members has sacrificed so much in service to our country, now we must do everything in our power to honor their service.”

"I am pleased that my bill, the Protect Patriot Parents Act, has made its way through the committee process and is one step closer to becoming law," said Rep. Carbajal. "Not too long ago, I got to know a Central Coast mom by the name Juana Flores. Juana was cruelly ripped away from her family despite the fact that her son is active duty in the Air Force. As a veteran and immigrant myself, I find it unconscionable that someone could step up to voluntarily serve in the military and be willing to sacrifice their life for our country only to have their family torn apart. The Protect Patriot Parents Act will help shape an immigration system that keeps families together, because the families of our servicemembers deserve our respect for their sacrifice, not deportation."

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.