WASHINGTON — A new push in the U.S. Senate could bring an end to the deportation of non-citizen U.S. veterans.
In the United States, a person does not have to be a citizen to join the armed forces. But serving in the armed forces does not guarantee a pathway to citizenship.
The name of the legislation hoping to stop deportation of non-citizen veterans is the Veteran Deportation Prevention and Reform Act. The bill was introduced in the House in February and was introduced in the Senate this week.
According to the New York Times, since 1996 about 1,000 U.S. military veterans were forced to live in another country after their service due to their immigration status.
Some advocacy groups estimate the number is much higher.
A 1996 policy passed during the Clinton administration led to roundups, which resulted in thousands of veterans losing their benefits and life-saving medical treatment through VA hospitals.
If the bill becomes law, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it would halt all veteran deportations.
Over the summer, President Joe Biden announced plans to allow members of the U.S. military who were deported to come back to the country legally.