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October 28, 2019

Affected Veterans are Available for Interviews

WASHINGTON D.C. — In recent years, thousands of veterans were deported after they served because of even minor legal infractions. The U.S. government failed to deliver on its longstanding promise of citizenship for military service.

On Tuesday, a House Judiciary Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the plight of these veterans, many of whom are now fighting seemingly endless battles against purposeful government obstacles as they try to return to their lives — and their families — in the U.S. The hearing will also address the Trump administration’s efforts to deny noncitizen service members their citizenship.

Among those giving testimony before the committee will be the ACLU of Southern California attorney Jennie Pasquarella and decorated Army veteran Hector Barajas, who was deported in 2004. With the help of the ACLU SoCal he was finally able to return to the U.S. last year and be sworn in as a citizen. Other veterans will also be present and available for interviews.

WHEN: TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 29 at 2 p.m.

WHAT: House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship hearing on “The Impact of Current Immigration Policies on Service Members and Veterans, and their Families.”

WHO: ACLU experts and veterans who have been affected by these policies will be available for interviews.

Witnesses testifying at hearing:

  • Hector Barajas, decorated Army veteran who was deported in 2004. He founded and directed the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana. He was able to return to the U.S. in 2018 with the help of ACLU of SoCal.
  • Jennie Pasquarella, Director of Immigrants’ Rights of the ACLU of California and Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Southern California. Her testimony is available here: https://www.aclu.org/hearing-statement/aclu-southern-california-testimon...
  • Margaret Stock, immigration attorney and Lt. Colonel (Retired), Military Police Corps, U.S. Army Reserve.

Other veterans who will be present:

  • Jorge Salcedo, a recently returned deported vet who was deported for spitting on a police officer.
  • Yea Ji Sea, who won her citizenship battle in court.

Mario Martinez, who is now fighting his deportation, will not be present, but will be available for phone interviews.

WHERE: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

LIVE STREAM: The hearing will be streamed at https://judiciary.house.gov/news/watch-live.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: 2016 ACLU SoCal report on deported veterans: https://www.aclusocal.org/en/publications/discharged-then-discarded

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