Present status of the problem Immigrants in the military are quietly being discharged so they may then be deported. Any medical or financial issues they may be facing are not being helped because of the deportation. As previously stated, there are as many as 11,800 military veterans and their families facing the fear of deportation. Populations affected (or disproportionately affected) by this problem Immigrants who have joined the United States military to gain citizenship in this country. Many of these immigrants are from the Philippines and Mexico. According to Jeanne Batalova (2008), at least 22.8 percent (14,854) of the military are from the Philippines and 9.5 percent (6,188) are from Mexico. There are also 4.7 percent (3,064) from Jamaica, 3.1 percent (2,007) from Korea, and 2.5 percent (1,374) from the Dominican Republic serving in the U.S. military as well. These immigrants, along with their families, are facing the threat of deportation despite their service. Organizations researching or advocating on the problem Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) United Service Organizations (USO) Bob Woodruff Family Foundation PAST POLICY Policy origins This policy was first developed from the World War I Veterans Bonus Bill. It was first used a reward for helping to protect our country. It was then also used to help those affected by the Great Depression.
Policy evolution The policy has evolved from the World War I Veterans Bonus Bill to the Migration Policy, and it is now in the process of being evolved into the I-VETS Act. CURRENT POLICY Current law, regulations, rules, funding sources or organizational policies The current law states that immigrant vets serving in the military are granted citizenship into the U.S. provided they follow the steps Current benefits and services associated with the policy The veterans and their family can receive disability compensation, naturalization, financial assistance, education and training, a pension, life insurance, and vocational rehabilitation and employment (“Department of Veteran Affairs”). Pros and cons of current policies Pros: Immigrants can receive citizenship in exchange for military service. Their families are also able to receive citizenship for their service. Cons: The families are not necessarily guaranteed citizenship if the service member passes before a certain time frame is met. Even if the time frame is met, there is still no guarantee they will be protected. POLICY PROPOSAL What is the proposed policy? Identifying and tracking immigrants who have or are serving in the military and are requesting legalization. Who is proposing it and why?
Representative Juan Vargas is proposing the bill. He did so because he believes they have earned the right to the full extent of the benefits other military members are receiving regardless of their immigration status (“Rep. Juan Vargas,” 2017).
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