Latino Activists React to ACLU Report on America Deporting Its Own Veterans
A new report by the American Civil Liberties Union has uncovered how the U.S. has, for decades, illegally deported an untold number of immigrants after discharging them from the military.
"It pisses me off to be honest with you, especially because being Latino as well, obviously I was very blessed being born in this country, but I know a lot of people in the military that immigrated to this country and have pretty much lived here their whole lives and felt compelled to serve and be patriotic and and fight for this country," J.R. Martinez, a former U.S. Army solider and motivational speaker, explained on "The Young Turks."
“By requiring deportation and stripping immigration courts of the power to consider military service, the United States government abandons these veterans by expelling them to foreign countries at the moment when they most need the government’s help to rehabilitate their lives after service,” said Bardis Vakili, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of California. “This is a tragic and disgraceful example of how broken our immigration system is.”
Aida Rodriguez, an American comedian and actress of Puerto Rican/Dominican descent, pointed out the awareness issue that exists with most Americans regarding the demographics of our active military personnel.
"We're all programmed to love our troops, we're all programmed to love our soldiers, as a comedian we go out and entertain the troops," Rodriguez began.
"I go every year and I will tell you that there's a great number of soldiers that are Latino, which a lot of people don't even think [about]... I was in South Korea, I went to 10 bases. The majority of the troops were Mexican and they were Puerto Rican and they were being deployed into active combat," she said.
Rodriguez revealed a "deplorable" practice many immigrants face upon returning—"deplorable" being a clear reference to Donald Trump's presidential campaign notably steeped in anti-immigrant policies.