Co-Caucusing on Issues with the LGBTQ, Hispanic and Black Caucuses

Our advocacy is robust and we are co-caucusing with the LGBTQ Caucus on the joint effort to overturn Trump’s Military Transgender Ban.  Please consider taking a moment to contact your U.S. Senators to urge them to SUPPORT S. 373, a bill to revoke the ban, and also the amendment in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act to consider applicants based on gender-neutral occupational standards and military occupational specialty, but may not include any criteria relating to the race, color, national origin, religion, or sex (including gender identity or sexual orientation) of an individual.  
We are working closely with the Hispanic Caucus actions against the use of military funding to build the wall and to support a bipartisan bill to demand better representation of Hispanic Americans in the senior ranks of the U.S. military. Check out this podcast here on Podomatic.  And here is another recent podcast on Veteran deportation co-hosted with the Hispanic Caucus.  
 
With the DA Black Caucus, we are working on a Veteran's Day webinar about WWII restoration of justice when Black GIs were denied rights guaranteed by the GI Bill (equal housing and education opportunities). 

TAKE ACTION on the Issue of Deported Veterans!

DA Veterans and Military Families Caucus urges all members and other Americans abroad to contact both your U.S. representative and your two U.S. senators regarding Deported Veterans. 

Background: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, under the anti-immigrant Trump Administration, has set their targets on our nation’s foreign-born veterans and have deported an unknown number of these former service-members. To no one’s surprise, many of these veterans are Latinos. We can fight back against this undeniably racist item on the Trump agenda by contacting our members of Congress.

Below are some basic templates that you can use on your legislators’ websites. We encourage you to make the language your own and to add a personal story on this issue if you have one to share. You are also encouraged to send any response you receive from your senator or representative on this issue by forwarding your legislator’s e-mail to: veteranscaucus@democratsabroad.org.


[Basic template for writing to your two U.S. senators]

Dear Senator _______,

My name is [your name] and I’m your constituent from [name of home state]. I’m writing on the topic of America’s military veterans being deported and believe that this practice needs to be immediately halted. 

Service in our Armed Forces is completely voluntary. Most veterans have served with honor, including our foreign-born veterans. It is a national disgrace that this administration has chosen to focus on veteran deportations.

As your constituent who lives abroad, I assure you that even with detailed planning it can be quite difficult to adjust living in a new country. One can only imagine the trauma inflicted on our veterans who have been deported in terms of family separations, loss of job and income, and unfamiliarity with the local language of the countries they’re being deported to. Furthermore, according to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report (#IF10884) and a 2019 Government Accountability Office report (GAO-19-416), the federal government does not even track statistics on how many veterans are being deported!

Our country needs to stop deporting our foreign-born veterans and repatriate those who have already been deported.

Therefore, I request that you cosponsor and SUPPORT the following bills:

  1. S. 2450, the Protecting Immigrant Gold Star and Military Families Act, sponsored by Sen. Booker.
  2.  S. 1041, the Veterans and Visa and Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Duckworth.

I also ask that you consider amending current law on this issue. In 8 U.S.C. 1101(a) (22), the U.S. Code provides that the term “National of the United States” means:

  • A Citizen of the United States
  • A person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.

The U.S. Code needs to be changed to clearly state: “The following shall be nationals, but not citizens of the United States: (1) A person who, by conscription or enlistment, entered any branch of the United States Armed Forces.  This shall be retroactive to service-persons previously removed from the United States.” This simple change would end the inhumane practice of deporting our veterans and tearing them apart from their families.

Deporting our nation’s military veterans who faithfully served to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America is not in the best interest of our country nor does it reflect the values that our country’s brave men and women fight so hard to defend. As my elected official, I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to support our veterans from being deported. They should not be thrown out of our borders simply because they don’t have a piece of paper stating they were born on U.S. soil.

As I am your constituent living abroad, I respectfully request your e-mailed response to this message. 

Thank you for your consideration of my views on this important issue,

[your name and contact details]


[Basic template for writing to your U.S. representative]

Dear Congressman/Congresswoman ___________,

My name is [your name] and I’m your constituent from [name of home town]. I’m writing because I believe that the issue of America’s military veterans being deported needs to be immediately addressed. 

Service in our Armed Forces is completely voluntary. Most veterans have served with honor, including our foreign-born veterans. It is a national disgrace that this administration has chosen to focus on veteran deportations.

As your constituent who lives abroad, I assure you that even with detailed planning it can be quite difficult to adjust living in a new country. One can only imagine the trauma inflicted on our veterans who have been deported in terms of family separations, loss of job and income, and unfamiliarity with the local language of the countries they’re being deported to. Furthermore, according to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report (#IF10884) and a 2019 Government Accountability Office report (GAO-19-416), the federal government does not even track statistics on how many veterans are being deported!

Our country needs to stop deporting our foreign-born veterans and repatriate those who have already been deported.

Therefore, I request that you cosponsor and SUPPORT the following bills:

  1. H.R. 3806, the Protecting Immigrant Gold Star and Military Families Act, sponsored by Congressman Gallego.
  2.  H.R. 2098, the Veterans and Visa and Protection Act, sponsored by Congressman Grijalva.
  3.  H.R. 2346, the Support and Defend Our Military Personnel and Their Families Act, sponsored by Congressman Thompson.
  4.  H.R. 1078, the Repatriate Our Patriots Act, sponsored by Congressman González.

I also ask that you consider amending current law on this issue. In 8 U.S.C. 1101(a) (22), the U.S. Code provides that the term “National of the United States” means:

  • A Citizen of the United States
  • A person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.

The U.S. Code needs to be changed to clearly state: “The following shall be nationals, but not citizens of the United States: (1) A person who, by conscription or enlistment, entered any branch of the United States Armed Forces.  This shall be retroactive to service-persons previously removed from the United States.” This simple change would end the inhumane practice of deporting our veterans and tearing them apart from their families.

Deporting our nation’s military veterans who faithfully served to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America is not in the best interest of our country nor does it reflect the values that our country’s brave men and women fight so hard to defend. As my elected official, I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to support our veterans from being deported. They should not be thrown out of our borders simply because they don’t have a piece of paper stating they were born on U.S. soil.

As I am your constituent living abroad, I respectfully request your e-mailed response to this message. 

Thank you for your consideration of my views on this important issue,

[your name and contact details]