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This Military Veteran Served Two Tours In Afghanistan And Was Deported In The Middle Of The Night

CBS Chicago / YouTube

Miguel Perez Jr. says he is being forced out of the only country he has called home. The 39-year-old military veteran will return to Mexico after more than 30 years. Immigration officials ruled that he doesn’t have the right character to be a citizen of the United States of America.

“I’m not leaving. They’re taking me,” Perez Jr. said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

While Perez Jr. did serve two tours in Afghanistan that duty did not qualify him to automatically become a U.S. citizen. That fact is why many U.S. veterans are deported back to their birth county. Many servicemen never realize they have to put in the actual paperwork and apply themselves.

“Mi hijo, my son went to defend both Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor,” Perez Jr.’s father told ABC. “Soldiers don’t discriminate against anyone, they defend everyone.”

Miguel Peres Sr in front of the White House before Inauguration day, fighting to stop the deportation of his son Miguel Perez Jr. (Army Vet)

Posted by Pueblo Sin Fronteras/Familia Latina Unida on Saturday, January 7, 2017

One of the major stipulations why some veterans are denied citizenship is if they have a criminal background.

In 2008, Perez Jr. was no longer a serviceman and was charged with a nonviolent drug conviction and had to serve some time in prison. That is why he has been deported.

“To be eligible for naturalization, you must demonstrate that you are a person of good moral character,” the letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Because you have been convicted of an aggravated felony on or after Nov. 29, 1990, you are unable to demonstrate good moral character; therefore you are permanently ineligible for naturalization.”

“He lived like a citizen, talked like a citizen, why can’t he live in his country, Why? I don’t understand why?” Esperanza, Perez Jr.’s mother said to ABC.

Many of his supporters, which includes Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, says Perez Jr. should have every right to stay in the U.S. especially because he needs to be treated for his PTSD.

“This case is a tragic example of what can happen when national immigration policies are based more in hate than on logic and ICE doesn’t feel accountable to anyone,” Duckworth said to CNN. “At the very least, Miguel should have been able to exhaust all of his legal options before being rushed out of the country under a shroud of secrecy.”

People see the treatment of Perez Jr. as an injustice.

Perez Jr.’s entire family reside legally in the U.S., which means he will return to Mexico without knowing anyone.

One of the reasons he feared being deported is because, as he says, Mexican cartels will want to recruit him.

“If they are sentencing me to a certain death, and I am going to die, then why die in a place that I have not considered my home in a long time?” Perez Jr. said to CNN.

Servicemen who are currently enlisted without U.S. citizenship will have a harder time gaining proper documentation even more so than before. Even if they apply and fit the requirements for U.S. citizenship, their application may not be processed.

Earlier this year, the U.S. announced that they are doing away with the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative program, which helps active servicemen apply for citizenship.

“[US Citizenship and Immigration Services] has decided to end the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative,” a USCIS public affairs guidance document dated from Jan. 30, according to BuzzFeed. The document cited “changes in Department of Defense requirements for certifying honorable service for US service members applying for naturalization.”

READ: Its 2016 And Latino Veterans Are Getting Discharged, Then Deported

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A Group Of Angry Tias And Abuelas Is Doing What The Government Cannot: Helping Undocumented People

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A Group Of Angry Tias And Abuelas Is Doing What The Government Cannot: Helping Undocumented People

Angry Tias And Abuelas / Facebook

All over the country groups and nonprofits are taking it upon themselves to deal with the immigration crisis in a humane way. They are doing what the government cannot: provide help to thousands of undocumented migrants looking for refuge. However, helping people isn’t as easy as one may think. Dr. Scott Warren was just on trial this week for giving undocumented migrants water and food. Thankfully the trial ended in a hung jury, but that goes to show that in this country, people do risk prosecution for giving people the dignity they deserve. That is why the story of these women warms our heart.

A group of women received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for their advocacy of undocumented people.

Facebook/angrytiasandabuelas

The women, who call their organization the Angry Tias and Abuelas, got honored last week for helping undocumented people transition from the moment that government officials release them from detention.

Here’s their mission: To advocate for dignity and justice for individuals and families seeking asylum at our borders. As they embark on their journeys to destinations across the U.S., our aim is to assure their basic health and safety needs are met. We provide emergency assistance such as food, water, clothing, toiletries, logistical support, and cash funds when needed to those recently released from ICE custody at bus depots or shelters in Brownsville and McAllen. We inform asylum seekers of their rights as they await entry across international bridges and give direct financial support to refugee shelters in the RGV and select immigrant shelters in Matamoros and Reynosa.

While the group said the award means everything to them, they are more frustrated with how the government is treating people at the border.

“Yes, we are mad,” she told NBC News. “We’re mad at the brutality of the United States government against the same people who are the same background as our own. These are families seeking safety from repression exactly like our own forefathers.”

The group launched just last year after seeing groups of women and children sleeping outside in torturous heat.

“It was quite a shocking scene,” Joyce Hamilton told CBS News about their first encounter with undocumented people. She said that her friends gathered to do something about it and help any way they could.

“We started talking to each other and meeting, and then enough of us were seeing each other enough times that some of us met for coffee at my house just to talk about coordinating a little bit and we formed the Angry Tias, thinking it would last for a few months,” Jennifer Harbury also said to CBS News. But the issue has not been resolved, and so they’ve continued to work.

Click here if you’d like more information on how you can help the Angry Tias and Abuelas group.

READ: Trial Begins For Scott Warren, The Volunteer Arrested For Giving Undocumented People Water, Saving Lives

Trump Terrifies Immigrant Community As He Demands To Keep Secret Why He Wants A Citizenship Question On The 2020 Census

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Trump Terrifies Immigrant Community As He Demands To Keep Secret Why He Wants A Citizenship Question On The 2020 Census

aclufl_ / Instagram

For the second time in his presidency, Trump has used executive privilege to shield his administration from congressional oversight.

And this time, the implications could be huge for already underrepresented communities – specifically the Latino community.

In a brazen move, Trump has taken an extraordinary step to reject Congressional subpoenas regarding his administration’s controversial addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

On Wednesday, Trump announced he’d be blocking Democrats from getting the documents the needed.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

In asserting executive privilege, the president is shielding documents related to a controversial decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The issue is currently before the Supreme Court.

Democrats, civil rights groups, and other opponents argue that including the question would scare off noncitizens and immigrant communities from completing the form and was intended to suppress their representation in Congress and in the federal budget-making process.

The administration contends it would help the Justice Department enforce voting rights, and that there is value in knowing the size of the population of US citizens.

House Democrats were investigating the origins of the citizenship question.

The committee launched an investigation earlier this year into the origins of the citizenship question, with Democrats claiming that it was added to the census in order to boost Republicans in future elections.

Last month, leaked emails from a deceased Republican operative showed evidence of a masterplan to use the 2020 Census to undermine the Democratic vote.

Credit: @carla973 / Twitter

Democrats have accused Republicans of lying about how the citizenship question was added to the census. In particular, after new evidence emerged recently that highlighted the role of a now-deceased Republican gerrymandering expert who argued that adding such a question to the census would cause congressional districts to be redrawn in ways that help Republicans.

“I want to know why this question was magically added after we have seen that a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

And according to reports from the Washington Post, it was Attorney General Barr – who was facing potential contempt charges – who asked Trump to declare executive privilege.

Credit: @kylegriffin1 / Twitter

The notice of Trump’s assertion of executive privilege came just as the House Oversight Committee prepared to vote Wednesday on a resolution to hold the Commerce Secretary and Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for failing to comply with its subpoenas.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to rule by the end of the month whether to allow the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Credit: @davidaxelrod / Twitter

The Constitution requires a count every 10 years but doesn’t specify that it includes only citizens; the main census survey last asked about citizenship in 1950.

All of this dramatic news provoked intense reactions across Twitter.

Credit: @TheCyberWarRoom / Twitter

One Twitter user pointed out what many are already thinking – that Trump is trying to hide his administration’s real motives behind the census questions: racism.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) added her two cents, saying that every person in the US deserves to be counted.

Credit: @amyklobuchar / Twitter

And that the president’s use of executive privilege is an obvious abuse of power meant to shield his administration from legal oversight of its potentially illegal actions.

And this Supreme Court lawyer laid out his worries about the power-hungry president.

Credit: @neal_katyal / Twitter

Many of us already feared that a President Trump would do all he could do to protect himself from any kind of oversight or legal challenge. And now we have just another case of obvious proof.

While a former federal prosecutor laid out Trump’s very clear motives.

Credit: @JoyceWhiteVance / Twitter

The threat to the Latino community – and immigrant communities of all backgrounds – is existential if the 2020 Census citizenship question is included. It would decimate our already low representation at the federal level and would limit access to much-needed services.

But aside from it’s dangerous and immediate impacts, the 2020 Census will allow lawmakers to remake voting districts in their favor – to perpetuate an already broken system but even more in their favor.

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