Congressman García Welcomes Biden Administration’s Efforts to Bring Back Deported Veterans, But More Needs to be Done

July 3, 2021
Press Release
“We need to end the prison-to-deportation system that puts veterans in this situation”

CHICAGO, IL. -  Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s plan to bring back deported veterans:

“The Biden Administration’s announcement that it has launched a new initiative to find deported veterans and their families and bring them back to the United States is a welcome solution to a problem that never should have existed in the first place. The deportation of veterans who served our country is a cruel failure of our immigration system and a betrayal of men and women who put their lives on the line. 

“Miguel Perez, one of my constituents, was a legal permanent resident who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan before being stripped of his green card and deported to Mexico for a non-violent drug conviction for which he had already completed a prison sentence -- a common story among returning immigrant veterans who struggle with PTSD and a lack of proper care. Miguel spent years fighting his deportation but was finally able to return home to his family and become a citizen only after receiving a pardon from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2019. With this administration’s efforts, more veterans like Miguel can now be reunited with their families and look forward to a new beginning.

“But more needs to be done. We need to end the prison-to-deportation system that put Miguel and many more veterans in this situation in the first place. This is why I re-introduced the New Way Forward Act earlier this year which would prohibit deporting immigrants based on certain drug-related offenses and decades-old criminal convictions, and provide a legal pathway to return home to the U.S. This legislation would also address racial injustices embedded in our immigration laws, which have enabled the inhumane assault of immigrant communities in our country, and especially in communities of color that are already over-policed and over-criminalized. The New Way Forward Act recognizes that all our communities deserve dignity, restoration, and repair, not further criminalization. It’s time to disentangle our criminal legal and immigration systems, and end the cruel policies that have separated families and left many veterans without access to their benefits.”