Prohibiting the deportation of 'special veterans'
The central focus of this bill is to prevent the deportation of immigrant veterans. Under current law, any immigrant veteran who is not a citizen can be placed in removal proceedings. Their military service is not considered as a factor in the decision to order their deportation, and they are not provided access to government-funded legal defense.5
The Repatriate Our Patriots Act defines a new category of “special veterans,” generally immigrants who have served in the U.S. military, were honorably discharged, and have not been convicted of offenses like voluntary manslaughter, rape, sexual abuse, child abuse, or terrorism-related charges.
The bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to identify special veterans, either by inquiring about military service prior to starting the deportation process, or retroactively, by reviewing records of individuals previously detained or deported.6
Under this bill, individuals who meet the definition of “special veteran” would not be deported, and special veterans already in removal proceedings would have those proceedings cancelled.