A letter sent from Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-TX, asks Texas Governor Greg Abbott to pardon Texas veterans deported from the United States.
“I was appalled to learn that veterans who served our country honorably has been deported,” the letter reads. “Many of these honorably discharged veterans are highly decorated and all had clean records prior to serving.”
Gonzalez’ request comes off the heels of a bill he introduced with Reps. Don Young, R-AK, and Beto O’Rourke, D-TX. The Repatriate our Patriots Act would allow deported veterans who were honorably discharged to become naturalized citizens abroad.
The bill would exclude those who have been convicted of violent, sex, or terrorism crimes.
Gonzalez goes on to say that he had dinner with President Trump more than a month ago in the White House and that the President is supportive of this legislation.
California Governor Jerry Brown has pardoned three veterans deported to Mexico, and Gonzalez wants Texas to follow suit. “I encourage you to pardon our patriots and I look forward to working with you to bring Texas’ heroes home,” Gonzalez wrote.
The bill would also require the Secretary of Homeland Security to create a program to allow veterans, who are eligible, and were removed prior to the bill’s enactment, to return to the United States as a permanent resident. Additionally, the legislation would require the Attorney General to cancel or rescind a removal order that impacts eligible veterans, and change their legal status to legal permanent resident.
In June, Gonzalez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus traveled to Tijuana, Mexico to meet with deported U.S. veterans.