On March 9, 2017, Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) and Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona) introduced the Restoring Respect for Immigrant Service in Uniform Act (H.R. 1470). The bill would protect immigrant service members of the U.S. Armed Forces and immigrant veterans from deportation if they have served in the military for at least six months and received an honorable discharge, among other requirements.
Today, there are approximately 94,000 immigrant veterans of the U.S. armed forces who have not naturalized. In addition, more than 24,000 immigrants were on active duty in the military in 2012. Immigrant service members and veterans who do not have U.S. citizenship remain susceptible to deportation. The bill would seek to address these challenges by protecting certain immigrant service members and veterans from deportation and expressing Congress’ opinion that certain deported veterans should be readmitted to the U.S.
What Would the Bill Do?
- Protect Immigrant Service Members and Veterans from Deportation.
- The bill would protect immigrant service members and veterans who served at least six months (180 days) in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable military discharge from deportation.
- This protection would not apply to immigrant service members or veterans who had been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors that occurred on different dates.
- Express a Sense of Congress that Certain Deported Veterans Should Be Readmitted into the U.S.
- The bill would express a Sense of Congress, or a formal opinion, that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should allow deported immigrant veterans who served at least six months (180 days) in the U.S. armed Forces, have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors that occurred on different dates, and are not a threat to national security or public safety to return to the U.S. as allowed under current immigration law.