Earlier this month, Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-3) and forty other Democrats introduced the Veterans Visa and Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 1405), a bill to shield current and former members of the U.S. armed forces against deportation or removal from the United States and to let them apply for green cards. Grijalva is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the bill’s co-sponsors include twenty-six other CPC members.
When Homelanders proclaim that they want to protect immigrants, they only mean immigrants from other countries to the United States, not immigrants from the United States to other countries. However, Grijalva’s bill is so broadly written that it would protect veterans in both groups of immigrants — those who were never U.S. citizens in the first place and got deported, and those who emigrated and gave up U.S. citizenship after being discharged.
SEC. 4. Protecting veterans and service members from removal.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227), a noncitizen who is a veteran or service member shall not be removed from the United States unless the noncitizen has a criminal conviction for a crime of violence.
As I understand it, this prohibition against removal extends to expedited removal of inadmissible aliens at ports of entry. In simpler terms, not only would non-citizen veterans now in the U.S. not have to worry about being sent away against their will, non-citizen veterans outside of the U.S. could show up at the border without fear of being turned away — whether they intended to stay in the U.S. for a week or for the rest of their lives. This is much better news than other CPC-supported legislation such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which forced at least one veteran living in another country to renounce U.S. citizenship in order to save his home.