(posting for a friend as i noticed his piece sheds light on what is to come if the 45th pushes his policies on mass deportation. rny)
Have you ever heard of veterans from the US Armed Forces that ended up being deported? This is the English version of a report that I've published in a Portuguese outlet. Would like to know your thoughts about it.
Special report: The deported veterans of America.
They fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. After being honorably discharged they found out that they were not citizens as they thought they were: they were convicted of aggravated felonies and were deported. Now they struggle to come back alive.
Their stories, heard by SÁBADO, all fit in the findings of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California report, which is based on interviews with 59 veterans from 22 countries and was published in the summer of 2016. Among the findings were that:
- Most of them lived in the United States for decades; they had already lost their ties to the nations where they were born;
- Nearly all deported veterans have left behind families, including children;
- In many cases they committed minor crimes after facing difficulties in adjusting to civilian life;
- The federal government failed to ensure that service members were naturalized, as they were entitled, during military careers or shortly thereafter;
- The government failure to provide clear and accurate information about naturalization resulted in many veterans believing their military service automatically made them U.S. citizens;
- Deportations have denied veterans comprehensive medical care in the United States, leaving many to die or suffer without treatment. Many suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress and others end up dying of other diseases for lack of treatment;
- Veterans deported to Mexico or Central America face serious threats from gangs and drug cartels that seek to recruit them because of their military training and threaten them and their families with death if they refuse.