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Bring Back Deported Veterans – NOW!

May 25, 2015

 Bring Back Deported Veterans

Today, May 25th, we honor the men and women who died in military service. On Memorial Day the President of the United States traditionally visits Arlington National Cemetery, where America’s honored dead are interred, to deliver a speech in remembrance and to lay a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

While he is at Arlington Cemetery we ask President Obama to also lay a wreath on an open grave in Arlington for those service men and women he deported. We have seen an increase in deportations since 1996 when President Clinton implemented an inhumane immigration policy, but President Obama has taken it to the extreme by deporting millions of people, including veterans. Even though they have served the US, veterans who are deported can only return to the US upon death to be buried with full military honors at a government burial plot.

Today under the Obama administration, the Veterans Administration continues to illegally withhold benefits from all deported Veterans, many of whom suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and others who are in need of earned VA medical benefits. The VA has confirmed that deported Veterans must apply in person in the U.S. to claim benefits, but deported Veterans can’t cross into the U.S. once they are deported without facing federal prison for illegally re-entering the country. These deported veterans were honorably discharged yet they are allowed to die away from their families, often in poverty and suffering because they cannot get treatment.

In April 2014 deported Veteran Hector Barrios died from a stroke and on March 10 2015 deported Veteran Gonzalo Chaidez died from tuberculosis. Both were far away from their families and the country they fought to protect. Hector Barajas who heads the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana, Mexico has also been fighting to return to the US to be with his daughter.

Today we honor all of those who served selflessly to protect what they believed in, yet we cry out for Not One More deportation and an end to the destruction of thousands of families.

Contact: Ravi Ragbir, 917 566 4816, ravi@newsanctuarynyc.org

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