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“Leaving NO Man Behind” – Bringing POW Home, Yet Ok to Deport Thousands of Veterans?

June 15, 2014

The NY New Sanctuary Coalition believes that the Obama Administration did the right thing to secure the release of the only US prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl because “we do not leave a comrade behind”. Yet this administration has been doing the wrong thing for the last 5 years and deported thousands of veterans who put their lives on the line and fought in wars for the US. It is a travesty of justice.

According to the group Banished Veterans, founded by deported veteran Hector Barajas an estimated 30,000 former military service members have been deported since 1996. Veterans who fought for the United States in wars from Korea to Afghanistan have been sent to Mexico, Germany, Jamaica, Portugal, Italy, England and other nations. Most of them came to the United States as children; many have been deported to countries where they know no one and don’t speak the language.

Today, hundreds of thousands of service men and women and recent military veterans have seen combat. Many have been shot at, seen their buddies killed, or witnessed death up close. Members of the military exposed to those wars/combats are at high risk for trauma exposure and at risk for developing PTSD. Non-citizens veterans faced the same trauma, yet when they come back “home” to the US, they are quickly “left behind” by the system and deported back to countries that they do not know.

Fortunately, they are welcome to return when they are dead. Honorably discharged veterans, even deportees, are entitled to burial at a U.S. military cemetery with an engraved headstone and their casket draped with an American flag, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“As we celebrated Father’s day today millions of immigrant families are crying, saddened because they have had their fathers, including those who put their lives on the line for this country, taken away and deported. Our hope that this President will change things was shattered but he still has time to live up to that hope. Congress isn’t going to work with him so we urge the President to take executive action and stop deporting our veterans and our people.” says Ravi Ragbir, director of NY New Sanctuary Coalition. 

 President Obama is becoming known as the Deporter-in-Chief. He – through his administration – has deported over 2 million people since he became President. We asked for change and we got it -it was just change for the worse.

The NYC New Sanctuary Coalition asks President Obama to do the right thing and leave no one behind. Stand with the people, change your legacy and stop deporting people who love this country and deserve to stay here.

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