Military personnel not guarateed citizenship was the topic of the Veterans event, held on Sept. 27, at the Valle Verde campus.
Courtesy Clavo Martinez / Military veteran
United States veterans protest the deportation of non-citizen military personnel near Anapra, Mexico.
The event featured a panel of community organizers, veterans and guest speakers with the goal of addressing the issue of deportation of immigrant military veterans.
The “Untold Stories” event was organized by Steven Loera, sociology instructor at EPCC, who felt this subject was of enough importance to the community, that it was time to inform the public on the topic to help those veterans who served in the military.
“I have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform, and I thought that this could be a step in the right direction towards educating the public on this issue,” Loera said.
Everyone is welcome to attend the event and are encouraged to listen to the presentation given by the community organizers Clavo and Rosemarie Martinez, as well as Jorge Armendariz, a distinguished Vietnam Veteran.
Also speaking at the event is Quisa Davis, an Immigration Attorney, who has previously worked on cases relating to the subject being addressed.
Information tables by the El Paso public library, are offering citizenship classes, as well as legal teams and the Veterans Resource Center will be present to inform and show support on this topic.
It is the hope of all those involved that this exhibition will call attention to an overlooked affair, that happens more often than some citizens may be aware of.
The presentation will open with a video, which will depict the stories of veterans who have been deported after serving in the U.S. military.
Many of these people were unaware of their residential status, mistakingly believing that their time in the service would result in an automatic entitlement to United States citizenship.
“The main issue is that many of these veterans are deported back to their countries after living here for so long, many times leaving wives or children here by themselves,” Loera stated.
In some of these cases, veterans who were deported, were removed from the country as a result of misdemeanor offenses, whereas citizens who may have violated the same laws were given lesser sentencing.
“These are some of the most patriotic people, they were willing to give up their lives for a country so that it would allow them to live here,” Loera went on to say.
Loera added that according to military regulations, every veteran is entitled to a military burial upon time of death, and for these people it becomes the only way to re-enter the country.