Bring Them Home
Deported Veterans Legal Services Project
ImmDef’s Deported Veterans Project represents Veterans of the United States Military seeking to be lawfully repatriated to the United States, the country they served.
Providing Access to A Pathway Back Home
The Biden Administration has made the repatriation of deported Veterans a priority through the development of the Immigrant and Military Members and Veterans Initiative. ImmDef is working closely with the initiative to repatriate as many of those who served this country back during this window of opportunity.
By serving honorably in the military, immigrants are entitled under the law to expedited naturalization, but it does not happen as often as it should. There are hundreds of thousands foreign born Veterans in the United States and only a minority have been naturalized. Many do not realize they can still be deported despite putting their life on the line for our country. Because the government does not keep records of the number of Veterans they have deported, the total is not known.
Many of the deported Veterans have faced combat in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf war, and the ongoing war on terrorism. As a result of combat and combat like experiences, Veterans are left with significant medical needs for their physical and mental health. Not only does their deportation separate the Veterans from the country they served and their families, but also prevents them from obtaining the care they have earned at the VA.
We conduct comprehensive intake and screening for deported veterans from around the world for potential immigration and post-conviction relief. We offer limited representation to investigate potential claims for relief including naturalization.
Our full representation for individuals eligible for immigration relief takes place either before the immigration court or before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. We provide full representation in pardon applications to the State of California, and federal mandamus litigation before the federal courts to move forward stalled naturalization applications.
ImmDef uses a universal representation model and will represent any veteran that qualifies for our services on a merits-blind basis. We will never turn a case away based on the existence of complicating factors or a low likelihood of success. Our goal is to represent as many veterans as we can to bring them all home.
Post-Conviction Relief Services
To provide holistic support to our veterans as they fight for the right to return home and obtain legal relief, our team reviews cases for post-conviction relief (PCR) eligibility and based on capacity, provide those cases with full-scope PCR legal representation.
Limited and Full-Scale Legal Representation
ImmDef advocating for the Veterans Service Recognition Act
Client Story: Stephen
Our client Stephen became a U.S. citizen after he was deported despite having served for this country. Hear his first thoughts after he was granted citizenship!
Help Us Bring Home More Veterans
Amanda Schuft,ImmDef Legal Services Director, shares her day of advocacy at the 2023 LULAC National Convention and Exposition. ImmDef is advocating for the passage of the Veterans Service RecognitionAct (VSRA) with several member partner organizations: Black Deported Veterans of America, Repatriate Our Veterans, ACLU nationwide and LULAC.
The VSRA will support non-citizen service members to apply for United States citizenship during basic training, require ICE to consider military service in enforcement, and support the repatriation of deported veterans.