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Jan-18-2010 14:19printcomments

Veterans: Banished and Betrayed

Harsh new measures have now snared immigrants who spilled their blood for our country.

Banished veterans
Loui Alvarez , Angelica Madrigal, Heather Boxeth, Jan Ruhman lobbying in D.C. Heather Boxeth is the lawyer representing the Banished Veterans. Jan Ruhman is a Vietnam veteran advocating for Banished Veterans. Courtesy:

(SAN DIEGO) - “Banished veterans." The phrase shouldn't make sense. Someone joins the military, fights in a war, returns home, and then is banished? Thankfully, this can't happen here...

But it is happening here. Thousands of men and women who have risked their lives in the country's wars have been deported or are living under the threat of deportation because they committed non-violent crimes that often wouldn't warrant serving jail time.

Many of these vets suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition often overlooked by our nation's health care system.

These vets can be deported because they are not U.S. citizens. Gabriel Delgadillo, a Vietnam veteran, committed a burglary in 1988. Eight years later, burglary was declared a deportable offense.

Only then, in a retroactive application of the new law, was he deported, leaving behind a wife and seven children. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) officially deplored Delgadillo's deportation in May, 1999, stating:

These harsh new measures have now snared immigrants who spilled their blood for our country.

As the INS prepares to deport these American veterans, we have not even been kind enough to thank them for their service with a hearing to listen to their story and consider whether, just possibly, their military service or other life circumstances outweigh the government's interest in deporting them.

Read More Full story @ Huffington Post Originally Posted 01/13/2010.

Also: American Combat Veterans Facing Deportation

Barton Kunstler, Author, “The HotHouse effect”

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Jeff Kaye~ January 19, 2010 9:56 am (Pacific time)

Sad but true. Immigrants are not treated fairly, even during or after having put their lives on the line for our country. The Immigration and Naturalization Service no longer exists as such...since 9/11 forced many government agencies to realign and thus its previous agency role now falls under the the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Traditional INS functions such as arrest, detention and deportation of criminal aliens are now performed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), under BCBP (Bureau of Customs and Border Protection). The US Border Patrol also falls under the auspices of this bureau. The administrative functions of this vast agency are handled by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). I would recommend any US veteran with immigrant status facing detention and/or deportation issues to attempt to initiate/expedite their status change to US citizen ASAP by visiting the following site and following the step-by-step instructions therein. Best of luck to you brave men and women from other lands who've honorably served our country.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.