On Friday, July 2, the Biden administration announced their initiative to help deported veterans return to the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, and Veteran Affairs Secretary, Denis McDonough, are also joining forces. Together they hope to support immediate family members who also lost their citizenship. Part of this massive effort is helping veterans:
- Regain their benefits.
- Get vaccinated against COVID-19!
- Fast-tracked naturalization.
Deported immigrants that served in the U.S. military can become citizens without waiting the expected time required for green card holders. Unfortunately, the immigration system is still overwhelmed. That means veteran applicants may have to wait years before successfully moving through the bureaucratic process, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The removal had been unjust and unwarranted as service members made commitments and sacrifices for the U.S. As a result, government agencies are hoping to correct their wrongs. While this is a grand opportunity for veterans, thousands of non-military families are waiting for this to happen, too. Many have gotten separated from their loved ones for decades – longer than veterans who lived outside the country.
Veterans Are Still Deplorable
Immigrants in the military that choose not to naturalize are deportable if they commit crimes that might revoke their green card. That includes substance abuse to help cope with mental health concerns and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Additionally, failing to renew their visa can hurt their ability to live in the U.S. with family. There have also been cases where military members have enlisted without a green card, which is not permitted. They would not be allowed to stay, should they return.
According to The Hill, more than 44,000 noncitizens served in the military from 2013-2018. It is unclear how many got removed for criminal convictions. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are known to bend the rules, so it may take time before Biden’s plan goes into effect.
A Los Angeles Deportation Attorney Can Help
Whether your loved one was a deported veteran or you face removal, you can rely on our immigration law office of Los Angeles to help. We are well-versed in newer and older immigration policies and know how to navigate the immigration legal system.