Should deported veterans be allowed to come back to America?

| February 13, 2019

An immigrant from Nicaragua stands on the Mexico side of a border wall separating Tijuana from the United States on Jan. 9, 2019. (Gregory Bull/AP)
By: Leo Shane III

AnotherPat sends us this link to Military Times which poses the question, should immigrants who served in the U.S. military, but were later convicted of a crime, be granted citizenship privileges? Two Congress members have introduced legislation that would smooth way to citizenship for immigrants who served honorably in the US Armed Forces, but were deported because of criminal activity after fulfilling their service obligations. The law would…

…also block federal officials from forcing those veteran immigrants out of the country, ensuring that they receive legal permanent residency after serving their criminal sentences.

“If you are willing to put your life on the line to defend this great nation and its values, you should be able to become a U.S. citizen,” said Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, one of the bill’s sponsors. “It is inexcusable that service members who risked it all to protect us would be put through the deportation process.”

And here we go.

They note that combat injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury can lead to substance abuse, and even minor drug offenses can result in deportation for an immigrant going through the naturalization process.

The proposal would exclude veterans convicted of violent crimes such as murder, rape, child abuse and terrorism. And it would not apply to immigrants who face serious legal trouble while still serving in the military.

I have my own thoughts on the issue, as I’m sure a lot of you do as well. Again, the article may be found here. Thanks AP, for another thought generating issue.


Category: Legal, Veterans Issues

Comments (36)

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  1. Grunt says:

    Condition of enlistment for non-U.S. citizens:

    If, by the end of your first enlistment, you have not availed yourself of your chain of command, JAG, etc, and you are not a U.S. Citizen- your enlistment will be extended in 180 day increments until such time as you receive your citizenship.

    Boom. Problem fucking solved.

  2. NHSparky says:

    Short answer: depends.

    Misdemeanor or nonviolent crime, sure.

    Felony, see ya.

    Consider than naturalized citizens can have their citizenship revoked (rare, but it happens), and I’m not seeing a problem here.

  3. Mason says:

    Those of you with more time in than me have said that getting their foreign born troops citizenship while they were enlisted wasn’t that hard. So I’m inclined to think that if they haven’t gotten their citizenship by the time they ETS, then that’s on them.

    • SFC D says:

      Bingo. I served with quite a few troops that got their citizenship while on active duty. The military even streamlined the process after 9/11. Now listen carefully kids, I’ll say it very simply:


  4. MSG Eric says:

    It doesn’t help when they throw out shining examples like the guy who got out after spending years in and not doing his naturalization paperwork, blamed his chain of command, and then joined a gang and was arrested doing thug shit and kicked out.

    If they got out “honorably” from the service, that’s wholly different than being kicked out and then crying because while they were in they didn’t bother with doing the paperwork.

    • Hondo says:

      Can’t say as I see much difference, MSG Eric. In each case, the individual had ample opportunity to apply for citizenship while on active duty. If they voluntarily chose not to do so – well, too bad. In that case, IMO they can get in line and apply for legal entry just like everyone else.

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    It has certainly changed since I served, for sure. I served with a number of naturalized citizen, and others that were in the process of becoming the same. I even assisted with the paperwork required in some cases. Every opportunity was afforded to these individuals in the timely and accurate submission of required documents. Matter of fact, that paperwork was given a priority by the FIRST Shirt and the Battery Commander.

    Don’t know the details of the 200 some odd pending cases, but if the other 130,000 had/took the time to do what was needed, what’s the problem for these others? Shitbirds gonna shitbird?

    • Slow Joe says:

      I’ll tell you what the problem is.

      Some of these dudes, especially after the 2008 recession, joined for money, and not out of a sense of patriotism.

      I have come across a few that actually hated the USA and wanted California to go back to Mejico.

      They were usually support pogs, fuelers, carpenters, truck drivers, etc.

  6. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “excludes an individual convicted of voluntary manslaughter, murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, or terrorism-related offenses or an individual determined to be a child abuser or a pedophile.” That’s from the 2017-18 bill itself (HR3429). The 2019-20 version is said to reintroduce that original bill. No changes to it are mentioned and the current bill is not yet available. So, going by the 2017-18 version, non-citizen Veteran commits robbery. That’s okay. How about drug distribution? Sure. No problem. Felony theft? Arson? Good to go. How about if the non-citizen commits fraud with respect to VA claims? Still good. The proposed law excludes only the listed offenses and no others. The proposed law sucks.

    • Hondo says:

      Bingo. If it doesn’t make ALL felony convictions disqualifying, I can’t support it.

    • Hondo says:

      I’ll go ya one better, 2/17.

      If those you list are the only crimes for which a non-citizen veteran could be deported, a non-citizen veteran could literally engage in espionage against the US on behalf of their country of citizenship, get caught and convicted, serve their sentence and/or be released early – but could not be deported back to their country of citizenship afterwards.

      To quote Hank Hill: “Why, that’s just asinine.”

  7. Bill R says:

    I was Air Force 1980-2000. Our policy was you had to become a citizen by your ETS or you could not reenlist. Of course that has nothing to do with whether you remain in the country or not. I believe each case should be reviewed on its own merits.

  8. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Why do we let them serve in the first place? Are we so short handed we need non-citizens in the military? Is that a possible exploitation point for those who would be inclined to do harm to their fellow troops?

    I’m not inclined to keep criminal troops from foreign lands in the United States, I’d be willing to consider non-violent crimes in a different vein than violent crimes perhaps but I’d need to see some real effort to not be a continual pile of shit bringing zero to the table.

    As someone who had nothing at birth, who did not have food security as a child, who did not have a guaranteed home with lights on when getting home from school I’ve zero sympathy for lying, thieving shitbags selling contraband as a coping mechanism. I had nothing and I never stole a fucking thing. I worked my ass off to get ahead and everything I have in this world is a direct result of working hard and not ever committing a crime, I haven’t even had a traffic violation in almost two decades. It’s not that fucking hard to get squared away and not be a turd.

    Why should you get to stay when you clearly have no desire to participate fully in the rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship. There’s a whole lot of people who are citizens who are already useless shitbags, I wasn’t aware we needed to import more to increase that population for any reason.

    • SFC D says:

      I had some really sharp, green-card carrying Soldiers. Had one kid, Taiwanese, spoke like 14 dialects of Chinese, MI would’ve loved this kid. But, he’s a resident alien, can’t get a clearance. So he’s a generator mechanic. Wanted to become a citizen in 2004, our bitch CSM tells him “re-enlist, and we’ll see what we can do”. He was disinclined to acquiesce to her request and ETS’d. Army lost a great Soldier. And that’s reason number 4,371 why I still despise that incompetent twatwaffle of a CSM.

  9. rgr769 says:

    Short answer: No. They shouldn’t have enlisted them; the recruiters should have turned them over to ICE for deportation.

    • rgr769 says:

      I might add that I was referring to illegals that managed to enlist without their illegal status being discovered. As far as those who were legal resident aliens and served honorably, why should they get an exception to federal law that says commit a significant crime and we deport you; why should they get a pass?

    • Slow Joe says:

      Illegals in the military?

      I haven’t seen that one yet. Permanent residence is the minimum requirement to enlist.

      • SFC D says:

        I know of a couple that slipped through with bogus paper. They didn’t even know they were illegal aliens until they’d been in a while. Mom and dad had bogus SSN’s for them. Happened to a Tucson cop, too. Years on the job and discovers she’s illegal.

    • Snotcrow says:

      You need a GC to enlist – that’s a permanent resident holmes. Most people know this. It’s amazing that you take the time to make an ignorant statement based upon your lack of education on the matter.

  10. FatCircles0311 says:

    These politicians sure hate Americans that they are openly advocating once again for criminal foreigners over Americans.

    Fuck these people. Fuck criminals. Fuck this nonsense of trying to negate and replace Americans in America.

  11. NavyChief 95 says:

    Were they legal or illegal immigrants. If illegal, then no matter their crime, no. If they were legal, then it depends on the crime. Stupid fist fight? Bring them back. Theft? Assault? Murder? Sex assault? No.

  12. David says:

    Honorable service does not buy you a forever get-out-of-jail card. Thank you for your service, fuck you for your subsequent crime. That is equal treatment.

    • OWB says:

      I can live with that as long as it works both ways.

      Benefits such as medical treatment for injuries, and awards such as a silver star are earned by some action at a particular moment in time for which one is recognized. Subsequent behavior doesn’t change that. On at least one occasion, the individual did what needed to be done and recognition for that shouldn’t be taken away later.

      Do I wanted to be buried next to a serial killer? Not particularly, but if we are buried in a veterans cemetery, we are there because of what we agreed to give this country not how exemplary we lived our overall life.

      Illegal aliens are no different except that if they were not eligible to enter the military and did not bother to fix it when they had the opportunty – tough. In the case of those individuals who did not know they were illegal, they should certainly be given the opportunity to correct the situation.