Congresswoman Veronica Escobar Joins Colleagues to Introduce Bill to Protect Immigrant Gold Star and Military Families from Deportation

July 17, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) joined her colleagues Congressmen Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Tex.), and Darren Soto (D-Fla.), to introduce the Protecting Immigrant Gold Star and Military Families Act, following reports that the Trump administration is scaling back the Parole in Place program, which protects undocumented military family members from deportation.

The Protecting Immigrant Gold Star and Military Families Act would prevent the Trump administration from deporting the immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans who served in active duty who were discharged in conditions other than dishonorable, and servicemembers who died in the line of duty if they have not committed a serious crime.

“Our fallen heroes selflessly gave their lives in defense of our nation’s freedom and values,” said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. “In their memory and regardless of their immigration status, we must honor our promise to their families and to our active-duty troops and veterans. I am proud to join Congressman Gallego to introduce the Protecting Immigrant Gold Star and Military Families Act to stop the Trump administration from continuing to tear patriotic families apart.”

“The Trump administration’s actions to deport veterans and family members – even in violation of federal law and their own policies – is disturbing,” said Congressman Ruben Gallego. “Parole in place ensures that our members of the military who are risking their lives every single day don’t have to worry about their loved ones back home getting rounded up and deported by the Trump administration. Ending this program would undermine the readiness of our armed forces, hurt morale, and demonize military families who sacrifice every day for their loved ones serving our nation. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to ensure that military and gold star families are protected from deportation.”

“While our servicemen and women are fighting abroad, they should not have to worry about fighting against deportation proceedings for their loved ones at home,” said Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva. “This bill protects military families from the xenophobic agenda of the Trump administration, and ensures that no family sacrificing their life and future to serve our nation overseas is ripped apart by Trump’s mass deportation policies. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand with our military families and support this important legislation.”

“Our service members and veterans have risked their lives for our country and the Trump administration repays them with threats to deport their loved ones,” said Congressman Vicente Gonzalez. “If you are an immigrant and you are serving or have served your country honorably, you have more than earned the right to become a citizen of this great nation and live freely in our country. For a Commander-in-Chief who proudly proclaims support of our military and veterans, he has an odd way of showing it.”

“Our Armed Forces and veterans have made difficult personal sacrifices to defend America’s freedom,” said Congressman Darren Soto. “In turn, the Trump administration thanks them for their service by deporting their family members. Trump’s zero-tolerance policy and low-priority deportations have caused irreparable harm in our communities. In my Central Florida district, we witnessed the devastating consequences of ripping families apart through the heartless deportation of Alejandra Juarez, a veteran spouse who was forced to leave the United States, separating her husband and daughters. Our military families deserve better. They protect us abroad; now it is our turn to protect them.”

 

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