- Category: Immigrants
- Created on Monday, 05 October 2009 21:28
- Written by Hector Lopez
Thanks to Hector Lopez for pointing this out. (Though we have to say that the talk of heroes is not our view.)
Military Falsely Promises Automatic U.S. Citizenship
American heroes are returning home after months of risking their lives for our country to face the unimaginable: the threat of being deported from the country they fought so hard to protect.
Take the case of Orlando Castanea. Brought to the United States from Mexico by his parents at the age of three, Castanea grew up in America. As an adult, he joined the U.S. Army and spent 12 months fighting in Iraq. He was told that his military service would secure his application for citizenship. Then, only months after returning from Iraq, Castanea received a deportation letter.
Castanea is not alone. Marine Corporal Phillipe Louis Jean also faced the threat of deportation after serving in Iraq. Louis Jean had previously been court-martialed for adultery, but the minor infraction was not serious enough to prevent the Marine Corps from sending him to serve in Iraq. Upon his return, however, it was apparently serious enough to threaten him with deportation. Though his case was dismissed on a technicality, Louis Jean will never be able to attain citizenship because of that court-martial, regardless of his brave service to America.
Jan A. Ruhman, a Veterans activist, has taken it upon herself to fight on behalf of veterans who are threatened with deportation. Apparently, Iraq War Veterans are not the only ones being faced with this travesty. Ruhman was first alerted to the problem by the story of a U.S. Marine Corps Gulf War I combat veteran. Since then, she has discovered that veterans of even earlier wars have been faced with deportation proceedings, many of them being forced to leave the country permanently. According to Ruhman, over 3,000 veterans are currently incarcerated and under threat of deportation nation wide.
Many veterans that Ruhman and her colleagues interviewed claimed that automatic U.S. Citizenship was promised to them by recruitment officers in return for service. In reality, non-citizens who serve in the military must still apply for citizenship. However, many veterans who did submit applications were left by the wayside, as their applications did not follow them once they were deployed to a combat zone.
For more information on this issue, please visit:
Jan A. Ruhman. "American Combat Veterans Facing Deportation." vetspeakblog.blogspot.com
KPFA Radio. "When I Got Back From Iraq, They Tried to Deport Me." www.warcomeshome.org
Live Leak. "Iraq Vet Being Deported." liveleak.com