Five House Democrats Visit Deported Veterans in Search of Solutions to Honor Their Service
Congressional delegation finds opportunities for VA, Congress to give deported veterans access to the benefits they earned
Tijuana, Mexico – A congressional delegation, led by Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), met with deported veterans today to understand and address the barriers that prevent them from accessing the veterans benefits they earned through their service. The visit to the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana, Mexico, revealed significant opportunities for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Congress to work together to improve the lives of those who served.
The delegation included Reps. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) and Norma Torres (D-Calif).
While military service opens a pathway to citizenship for non-citizens, not all service members complete the complex application process. It is estimated that roughly 1,400 veterans have been deported in recent years.
“Any veteran who serves this nation honorably is eligible and entitled to the benefits they were promised, regardless of their citizenship,” said Rep. Takano, vice ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “Today we discovered significant opportunities for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress to work together to address the barriers that separate deported veterans from the benefits they earned.”
The congressional delegation, which included four members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, was particularly concerned with reports that deported veterans did not have access to adequate medical care for health conditions related to their service. The delegation also focused on making it easier for deported veterans to receive the disability benefits they are owed.
Its members will detail their findings and specific recommendations in a report to be released in the coming weeks.
Josh Weisz, 202-225-2305
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