CHC Highlights Key Resources for Noncitizen Servicemembers and Veterans
Feb 7, 2022
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Highlights Key Resources for Noncitizen Servicemembers and Veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and the House Committee on Homeland Security lauded the launch of a new online resource hub for military servicemembers and veterans seeking naturalization and assistance with deportation cases. The CHC strongly supports the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative (IMMVI) through Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), and the Department of Defense (DOD) to ensure a timely rollout of IMMVI’s resource hub to support noncitizen servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) applauds the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative’s (IMMVI) new portal and resource hub for military servicemembers and veterans seeking naturalization and assistance with deportation cases,” said Chair Dr. Ruiz. “No matter the status of their citizenship, those who have sacrificed for our country, paid for their actions, and who do not pose a threat to our communities, do not deserve to be discarded. The CHC has long battled unjust deportations and recently called for this important initiative to be expediated. We are glad to see the Biden Administration’s strong commitment to helping our heroes in uniform who have served and scarified for our nation get the respect and support to stay in our country.”
“I applaud the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs for creating the Immigration Military Members and Veterans Initiative resource hub, a central resource where noncitizen servicemembers and veterans can obtain information and assistance on issues related to immigration,” shared Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41). “Far too many of our nation’s heroes have been deported from the country they risked their lives to protect and defend – this is cruel, immoral, and simply unacceptable. This interagency portal is a great first step in providing assistance to veterans that have already been removed or others working through deportation proceedings today. I am extremely thankful that the Biden-Harris Administration is taking proactive measures to support the brave men and women in uniform who call our great nation home.”
“Our veterans, regardless of their citizenship status or where they were born, deserve access to benefits they earned while defending our nation. I applaud the launch of the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative’s (IMMVI) resource hub to help deported veterans with immigration assistance, VA benefits, and legal services. I also thank the Biden Administration for their continual commitment to our veterans and their families,” said Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02).
“It is our obligation to provide continuing support to all of our veterans – including those veterans who have been deported,” said CHC 1st Vice Chair, Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44). “The immigrant men and women who have served our country with honor, should receive the same benefits as other veterans and the opportunity and resources to become naturalized citizens. I applaud the Biden Administration for making the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative resource hub a priority and providing our immigrant veterans the benefits they’ve earned.”
“It is encouraging to see the Department of Veterans Affairs take active steps to help military servicemembers and veterans navigate the naturalization process. It is also incredibly important to assist those who have served our country and were unjustly deported. I am proud to work with CHC and the Biden Administration to ensure that our country is treating all members of the armed services with the respect and dignity they deserve,” said CHC Whip, Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09).
“I commend the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative on their efforts to ensure that our nation’s veterans, regardless of immigration status, can access the benefits and resources they have earned and deserve,” said Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA). “I look forward to working closely with the Biden administration to further advance this cause through my bill, the Veteran Deportation Prevention and Reform Act, which would improve the pathway to citizenship for eligible military service members and their families and grant deported veterans an opportunity to return home to the United States.”
“I join my Congressional Hispanic Caucus colleagues in applauding the VA’s efforts to provide deported veterans with resources to navigate naturalization and obtain benefits and legal services,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51). “Deported veterans answered the call to serve our nation, and I honor the sacrifices they have made. I remain committed to working with my colleagues to ensure every service member, regardless of immigration status, receives the support they deserve.”
“For too long, immigrant veterans have proudly served and received the short end of the stick because of our broken immigration system,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03). “This new resource portal is a critical step to ensure that those deported veterans receive the benefits they are owed for the service they committed to our country. I’m proud to support this initiative and will continue to seek justice for those veterans that were deported and continue to call for their expedited return home.”
“The launch of the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative (IMMVI) is a long overdue step in the right direction towards keeping our promise to those who have fought for our country. I applaud President Biden for taking it. As a veteran and a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I came to Congress to advocate for the veterans that have sacrificed so much for our country, and this new initiative aligns with the years of work that I have done to ensure that immigrant servicemembers, their families, and Gold Star families are able to safely live in the country they sacrificed for and fought to protect. I look forward to working with the Administration to continue this good work,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07).
On July 2, 2021, DHS and VA announced the IMMVI initiative to support noncitizen servicemembers, veterans, and their families. The initiative involves a robust interagency coordination effort in addition to creating a resource center to assist service members and their immediate family with issues related to immigration; working to remove barriers to naturalization for eligible individuals; and reviewing removal policies and practices to avoid future unjust removals of current and former service members and immediate family of service members.
As part of this effort, VA is working to identify deported veterans to ensure they can obtain VA benefits to which they may be entitled through the program.
The IMMVI resource portal can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/immvets.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.