Willie Hager, VFPJax@mail.com
The mission of the Deported Veterans Advocacy Project is to advocate and assist U.S. military veterans who face deportation, or have been deported by the U.S. government. Currently Veterans For Peace is the fiscal sponsor of the Unified U.S. Deported Veterans, located in Tijuana, Mexico. The Unified U.S. Deported Veterans/Veterans For Peace Hector Barrios Chapter 182 is for U.S. military that have been deported or are in deportation proceedings, assisting them to integrate into the community as productive residents while searching for legal avenues to return home to the U.S.
The Unified U.S. Deported Veterans/VFP Hector Barrios Chapter 182 has an office in Tijuana, 40 yards from the Ped West Border Crossing, that provides services for those U.S. military veterans who have been deported or are in deportation proceedings. The office provides support in contacting their families in the U.S., housing referals, medical needs and substance abuse treatment, support in obtaining documents, such as Mexican identification and DD-214, benefits and pensions filing with the V.A., employment interview preparation and job bank and referrals.
The Deported Veterans Advocacy Project calls for:
- Call for Legislation for the United States Code to clearly state: "The following shall be nationals*, but not citizens of the United States: (1) A person who, by conscription or enlistment, entered any branch of the United States armed forces. This shall be retroactive to service-persons previously removed from the United States."
- Call for the Department of Homeland Security to stay the immediate removal of U.S. veterans from the United States
- Repatriation: "Welcome our Veterans Home"
- Educational outreach programs to the American people and veteras organizations nationally.
*The United States code provides: that the term "National of the United States" means (a) a citizen of the U.S., (b) a person, who though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States of America." (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22)) Service members have taken a permanent oath of allegiance as part of their enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment is almost identical to the oath of naturalization, so therefore all U.S. veterans should be granted national status automatically.