Democrat introduces legislation aimed at halting veteran deportations

Democrat introduces legislation aimed at halting veteran deportations
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at stopping the U.S. from deporting veterans and giving legal residents a path to citizenship through military service.

The legislative proposals, two of which were co-sponsored by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), proposes naturalization offices at military training locations and improvements in healthcare services for veterans.

Duckworth, who is an Army veteran, wants to protect military service members who have been convicted of nonviolent offenses.

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“Men and women willing to wear our uniform shouldn’t be deported by the same nation they risked their lives to defend,” Duckworth said in a statement.

"These pieces of legislation will help service members become citizens and help veterans who have been deported return to this country, enabling them to live here with their families, and ensuring they have access to the life-saving VA care they have earned because of their tremendous sacrifices," she continued.

BuzzFeed was the first to report on the legislation, which seeks in part to address congressional concerns that veterans who have been deported often lack medical care.  

The legislation also provides the opportunity to soldiers who are not U.S. citizens to obtain citizenship by proposing naturalization offices be placed on military training sites. 

The legislation comes as the Trump administration, along with Republican Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonMcConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year Cotton opposes Trump-backed criminal justice bill Trump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform MORE (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.), this week introduced a new measure to tighten U.S. immigration laws. The Trump-backed proposed policy is an effort to curb legal immigration to the United States.

- This story was updated at 6:17 p.m.