Salazar Introduces the Veterans Service Recognition Act

Salazar Introduces the Veterans Service Recognition Act

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
July 15, 2023

Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have reintroduced the Veteran Service Recognition Act. California Senator Alex Padilla (D) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The legislation, which has received endorsements from numerous Veterans groups, "would allow noncitizen service members to apply for naturalization during basic training, establish a review process for those who are in removal proceedings, and provide an opportunity for noncitizen veterans who have been removed or ordered removed and who have not been convicted of serious crimes to obtain legal permanent resident status" according to a press release from Salazar's office.

The Veterans groups that support the bill include UnidosUs, the American Legion, VoteVets, Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO, Black Deported Veterans of America, ACLU, LULAC, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California, Project On Government Oversight, and the AFL-CIO.

In a statement, Rep. Salazar commented that "all members of our Armed Forces deserve to be treated with dignity and respect." She added that "noncitizen veterans, just like their American peers, make the ultimate sacrifice in service of the United States," noting that, should the bill be signed into law, it "would streamline the naturalization process for noncitizen veterans and would provide due process for noncitizen veterans who were wrongfully deported."

California Rep. Mark Takano, a Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, reaffirmed that he has been "fighting to prevent noncitizen veterans from falling through the cracks of our broken immigration system for years because it is shameful that they are being exiled from the same country they risked their lives to protect and defend. ” In introducing the bill, Takano shared that it is "a critical step to ensuring that our men and women in uniform are honored for their bravery, heroism, and service, no matter where they were born.”

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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