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tv   Hearing on Immigrants Serving in U.S. Military  CSPAN  October 29, 2019 8:01pm-9:56pm EDT

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later, environmental advocates testify before congress about the environmental impact of plastic pollution. next, the house judiciary subcommittee hearing on the impact of the trump administrations immigration policy on immigrants who serve in the military. lawmakers for testimony from a military veteran immigration law attorney. >> the subcommittee will come to order and with the indulgence of our witnesses we proceed to the hearing and i think many of us would like to say a comment about the late john conyers who was a member of this committee for many decades who gave his life to public service and who passed away just a few days ago
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while serving his country both in the armed forces and in the congress. we do more in his passing and it would be not in keeping with our traditions to proceed without at least giving our condolences to his family and to those who sent him to congress. i would like to recognize mr. nadler for remarks. >> thank you madam chairperson. people are mourning the loss of john conyers but nowhere is his loss felt more deeply than here in the judiciary committee where he served for more than 50 years as a member of this committee including more than 20 years as either chairman or ranking member. john conyers was a true champion for civil rights and a justice for the oppressed and disenfranchised. prior to service was on the
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forefront of the civil rights movement and was in alabama for the freedom day bodine drive in congress endorsed and once in office he hired rosa parks and when her civil rights activism caused other employers to shun her. throughout his career he was a leader of progressive causes even if it was a lonely pursuit. >> he first introduced ledges asian for the reparations of slavery and jim crow back in 1989. he worked across the aisle and enacted bipartisan legislation such as the violence against women act, usa freedom act and the voting rights act. as a leader on the judiciary committee congress conyers and
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past important legislation such as age crimes legislation and the innocent protection act. his he was a founding member of the critic and congressional black benefited from his wisdom and grace. he was my colleague, my friend. i'm honored to follow in his footsteps as he as we attempt to carry out his legacy. under all those we are heavy with his loss that we have lost the benefit of his leadership. >> the gentleman yields back. i now recognize the ranking member for the full committee for his statement. >> thank you.
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i echo the chairman's statements about the long list of accomplishments that the statements that he made but i choose to emphasize what he accomplished from his time as chair and his ranking member whenever to him and the thing i remember the most is kindness, sense of humor and his dress and his sharpest dresser always in the room especially on coattails and one of the highlights was a few years ago when we went to detroit and he was host for that. it was a meantime to show his city and where he came from. the last memory i will hold dearest was when you get to washington you're amazed and i
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can remember leaving this committee and going to the floor for a vote and we went to number, back to the hearing room and it happened to be me and him and i had been here a month or two so i was introducing myself and he said you're from georgia and i said yes, sir. i said you been here a long time so what brought you and i said i'll ask this question but what do you to congress and he started chuckling. he said i really wanted to come to a part of the jury committee to work on voting rights act of 1964. i laughed and i said you realize that's two years before i was born and he said yep, i've been here a while. stick and we would be remiss.
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>> the gentleman yields back and all members will be invited to cement whatever comment they would like to make at this time. it is my pleasure to welcome everyone to this afternoon's hearing on the impact of the current immigration policies on service members, veterans and their families. over the last two and half years the meditation has implanted numerous policy changes that have made life more difficult for noncitizen members of the armed forces, veterans and their families enforcement as well as the elimination of prosecutorial discretion when it comes to migration endorsement has resulted in the removal or attempted removal of far too many lawful, permanent veterans who honorably served our country
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but struggled with the transition back to civilian life, some who were disabled by ptsd. this hearing will allow the subcommittee to explore how these policy changes can be unforgiving and how they have impacted active-duty service members with veterans and their families. at this point, i would like to, without objection, ignite my colleague as a champion of this fear important issue for who will preside over this hearing in whom i yield the remainder of my time for his opening statement.
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>> good afternoon. without objection first i would like to request permission to cement these letters as part of the record. these letters on current immigration policies on the service, veterans and their families. first of all let me thank my colleague representative for her leadership and i appreciate the opportunity to preside over this most important hearing today and as we approach veterans day we have to recognize and honor all our veterans including immigrant veterans that served our country honorably in the armed forces from the revolutionary war to the recent conflicts in afghanistan and iraq. today there are over half a million foreign-born veterans in the united states. as recently as 2012 there were
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24000 immigrants part philippines, mexico, mexico, jamaica are accounted for the greatest number of where they were born they are americans in every sense of the word who was in mexico. the corporal was killed in action in 2003 after iraq he forces pretending to surrender and ambushed him and his fellow. the corporal was post to muesli given american citizenship. he chose to defend his country as a marine and made the ultimate sacrifice. he was a dreamer.
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the united states a country they love we have an allegation to uphold their promise to provide for these patriots with american citizenship. that since 1996 thousands of noncitizen veterans who took the oath of allegiance and were honorably discharged have been deported. no one put the uniform on and is honorably discharged should be subject to deportation. as every soldier knows, you never leave a soldier behind. sadly, the u.s. immigration and customs enforcement or ice does not follow policy for solving cases of potentially removable veterans does not always identify and track such veterans. as a result, ice does not know how many veterans it has deported. recently the admin attrition has
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adopted policies that have affected the naturalization process for military service members and veterans. as a result military naturalizations have decreased by 44% from 7300 fiscal year 2017 to about 4000 fiscal year 2018. in august of 2019 u.s. citizenship and immigration service announced a change definition of the term resident. in fact, children born to certain u.s. service members stationed abroad will now be required to naturalize under a lengthier and more complicated application process. together with my colleague representative of texas we left a letter to the u.s. citizenship and immigration service with acting director, asking for
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reconsideration of this policy. without objection i would like to cement that letter as part of this record. in total the policy changes negatively affect military recruitment and effectiveness and turn our back on immigrant servicemembers, veterans and their families. this is unacceptable and we need to correct the situation. i look forward to hearing our witnesses. it is my pleasure to introduce the gentleman from colorado for an opening statement. >> thank you. immigrants have recognize their sacrifice congress provided in law for the expedited naturalization of foreign nationals which includes september 11, 2001 --
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naturalization is voluntary for naturalization must apply for it, receive a variable adjudication and take the oath of allegiance to become a naturalized u.s. citizen. as part of the process the apartment of defense must defy honorable service alien has met the time in service or garments. in most cases the 180 days. this policy that the servicemember has served honorably as required statute. october 1, the united state citizen and inpatient services has nationalized a proximally 130,000 members of the abroad. today we will discuss the difficult issue of noncitizen vetted veterans who been removed
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from the united states. supported to know if no one is above the legal consequent is of their behavior. the cases of that has been a place for several administrations and with sensitivity to those who may have suffered from mental health problems due to their service. i'm also honored to be an original cosponsor with bringing member collins of hr 4803 the citizenship for military children it's a bipartisan bill to make the technical change for the requirements of section 320 the immigration and naturalization act. this will ensure the children of the u.s. armed forces, members stationed abroad will automatically acquire citizenship for all of the requirements are and will make sure they are not disadvantaged civilly because they u.s. citizen parent is stationed abroad. introduced hr 4803 earlier this month and i'm proud of her work on this bill than the chose when
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a change i look forward to hearing from the witnesses and you'll back the balance of my time. >> i will now recognize the chairman of the committee for his opening statement. >> thank you. immigrants have served in the u.s. armed forces in every major conflict since the revolutionary war. according to the bipartisan policy center in 2016 a proximally 511,000 foreign-born veterans in the armed forces residing in the united states. immigrants make up a substantial portion of the veteran population and every day brave men and women risk their lives. we rely on it to keep their safe and provide stability to fragile regions their sacrifices and make sure their families are supported to give them every
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opportunity to become u.s. citizens. fortunately, as a result of the unproven giving nature of our immigration laws numerous policy changes limited by the trump administration appears the opposite is happening. under the trump administration the deferment of defense u.s. citizenship and immigration services have implemented numerous policy changes that undermine congress to provide an expedited naturalization process for service members and veterans october, 2017 they cannot receive certification of honorable service. document which was essential to expedite the naturalization process and previously certifications can be issued as soon however one must first complete 180 days of service and one year in the selected reserve. in addition certifications could
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previously have been issued by any supervising officer and now must be certified by the secretary of the military branch for a commissioned officer. these changes are unnecessary and cruel. they serve no purpose which may harder for any visuals serving our country to become citizens. they had a measurable impact. total military authorization fiscal year 2017, [inaudible] in addition because they dramatically cut the numbers of offices naturalization services to those stationed overseas have become much more limited. u.s. eis used to provide services 23 international offices in the change took effect last month and was cut from 23 international offices to four offices. personnel is on site to conduct
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naturalization interviews but one week for every calendar quart. why would we make it more difficult for the men and women were risking their lives in service of our country to become permanent citizens. it's shortsighted and foolhardy. many of these veterans have been removed from the united states as a result of the ptsd, brain injury and other physical trauma suffered while on active duty and make the transition back to civilian life. in other words, they served this country, had a medical condition as a result which impaired their judgment, committed some crimes as a result of their medical condition but were therefore deported. we can agree individuals should
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serve a reasonable sentence but we should if that may have been service related. there must be a better way to address these cases. our veterans deserve better and we owe it to them to find a way to bring compassion and discretion back to our immigration laws. i want to end on a positive note. last week i introduced a bill along with ranking member collins and we served honorably in the armed forces himself as well as several of my esteemed colleagues. this bill will fix the problem the result of the policy change in august which makes it more difficult for children of u.s. citizens serving our country abroad to be organized as u.s. citizens. this will reverse this misguided policy. it will make it easier for the children. i'm glad we were able to work together to pass this important
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legislation. i look forward to advancing our efforts in the coming weeks. i want to thank the percentage of for holding this important hearing. i think the witnesses for testifying. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, chairman nadler. i like to recognize the ranking member, mr. collins for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to have the opportunity to discuss these opportunities because i was a colonel and understand the issues running military service. it's congress place to determine what should be made to u.s. law governing those who serve desperate last week that sharon mentioned he and i along with other colleagues from across the political spectrum introduced hr 4803, citizenship for children. [inaudible] this exposed a loophole. some children were not automatic
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acquire citizenship because of their parents deployment prohibited them from eating the statute. this would fix this unfortunate loophole. it is important to remember that immigrants wear the uniform and have since the founding of our nation. historically the average number of foreign nationals have been around 5000 a year and that number jumped to 7000 in 2019. many will go on to be naturalized for their service and from fiscal year 2001-members in the military including more than 11000 deployed overbroad. our immigration laws organize the immigrant layout provisions of the expedited naturalization of foreign nationals. in foreign national who serves in hostilities is a level eligible to apply for naturalization for honorable
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service. [inaudible] this aligns with long-standing department policies that the department does not issue characterization for any citizen or noncitizen alike. not all foreign nationals have certain military and those who do not remain subject to our immigration laws, although we should not sealed service members from the necessary lawful consequences for agencies handling oral cases should be particularly careful with those of services. we must be vigilant about any enlistees, foreign or national alike to make sure they do not intend arm. the department of defense under the obama administration became aware of the risks created --
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and halted enlistment. but that is vital with linkage or health skills vital to the national interest to enlist in the armed services even though they were only here on timber a visa. well-intentioned, the screening processes were not up to the challenge. this includes questionable preference for the foreign country. susceptibility to a foreign influence. there is an even one publicly known case in which a chinese spy enlisted to the military through the program. i note the deferment of defense is improving its screening i support the decision to halt the
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program. [inaudible] at this time in service requirement and the other policies we will discuss. i look forward to the witness testimony and thank you for being here. with that, i yield back my time. >> thank you, ranking member collins. it's my pleasure period he was born in mexico grew up in california and enlisted in the army in 1995 and served for six years during which time he received multiple awards such as the army commendation medal, humanitarian service medal, despite his service to the his country he is bent deported twice with dishonorable discharge from the army in 2001. last year he became a u.s.
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citizen and remains committed to his organization and providing support whether deported veterans. we thank him for his service and for being here today and we share your story, sir. second witness, the director of immigrant rights for the aclu of california and served as a senior staff attorney at the aclu of southern california. she has worked since 2008 and specializes in immigrant rights in litigation and policy advocacy's related to immigration enforcement and policy. she received her ba from bernard college and jd from georgetown university. margaret stock is a retired lieutenant colonel in the military police, u.s. army reserve imposable immigration attorney with the cross-border
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log group in the distinguished macarthur foundation for her outstanding work in immigration and national security. she has testified before both chambers of congress, including this very subcommittee to discuss the issues ranging from the effects of immigration law on the military. she holds 3 degrees from harva harvard, including her jd, mpa and masters inches she did studies from the u.s. army war college. we welcome her as well. welcome back to this committee. the honorable mark metcalf is a former immigration judge on the immigration court in miami, florida and a former federal state prosecutor in his home state of kentucky. mr. metcalf also held various positions with the u.s.
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deferment of justice in 2002-2008. he's worked as a petitioner and a colonel in the army national guard and serves as command judge advocate with the 140 ninth maneuver enhancement brigade in kentucky. mr. metcalf has previously testified before congress and is an expert on immigration law. this includes his testimony before the subcommittee and that 100 11th congress he received his ba and jd from the university of kentucky and we welcome them back through the subcommittee and we look forward to your testimony. we welcome all our distinguished witnesses and thank you for your participation. if you could please rise i will spare you in. please raise your hand. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give
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his true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information and belief to help you god? thank you. let the record show the witnesses answered in the affirmative and thank you and please be seated. please note each of your written statements will be entered into that record and i will ask each of we will begin. welcome. >> chairman, congressman, ranking member and other distinct numbers of the committee thank you the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee to testify about these important issues i am a u.s. veteran who was to mexico
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in 2004 and honored to join you today to speak on math of my fellow deported veterans about my personal experience and i would like to acknowledge that some formerly deported veterans have joined us in the room today, including miguel perez and the green card veterans that are supporters. i'm not proud what led to my deportation but proud of my military service in the positive compliments in my life, including starting this in tijuana. i grew up in compton, california and my family and i moved to the u.s. when i was kevin years old. as a child i remember pledging allegiance to our american flag every morning. i enlisted in 1995 when i was 17 years old and a lawful permanent resident at the time and wanted to serve my adopted country and saw service as a way to leave the environment and to afford to go to college. i arrived in fort bragg and
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volunteered for airborne school serving in the 82nd airborne from 1996-1999. i reenlisted for another three years left service with an honorable discharge in october 2001. after i left the service i had trouble adjusting and made mistakes. i eventually found myself in prison for an incident where a firearm was discharged at a vehicle and i was sentenced to 3.5 years in the state of california but i was deported because of my criminal record and because i was not a u.s. citizen. i came back to the u.s. eagerly started a family and worked as a roofer. eventually i was deported in 2010 for a traffic incident that i had but they reinstated my deportation. i made the toughest decision in my life and decided to stay in tijuana and return to the u.s. legally. i wanted to but in in 2013 the
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commendation of hard work and determination i opened up the veteran support i wanted a place that could help support veterans in situations like mine and navigate the hardship of deportation and the separation from our families in the country we love and serve. it's a lifeline for many deported veterans and around the world. provides housing helps them find jobs in file for va benefits and connect pro bono attorneys can return to their families under today's laws most deported veterans only come home to america with an american flag draped around their caskets. there is no honor in bringing
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deported veterans to be recognized for their service only when they died. i became an citizenship on april 13, 2018 and i'm blessed to be back home in america and be a father to my daughter. once again, i want to emphasize i'm a firm believer in people being held accountable. it does not make sense for me to deport our veterans after they have completed their sentence and paid for their actions. for veterans, deportation is a double punishment. as an example, my friend is a former u.s. marine who was deported in the day he rose drug rehab center in tijuana.
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his daughter was a lively and inspiring young woman passed away in an accident in 2017 and we held a funeral service in tijuana because roberto was unable to go to san diego to bury his daughter. i have a few recordations on how to ensure we protect our veterans from deportation and encourage all service mowers and veterans to naturalize. i'm blessed to be u.s. citizen today and i believe u.s. citizenship only acknowledges when many deported veterans already believe in their hearts. we believe ourselves to be american and no current law requires us to be report our veterans. we must support our veterans and i thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> thank you. i like to call on [inaudible] for her statement. >> ranking member about, to stay
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with members of the sub committee for immigrant recruits expedited citizenship in exchange for their military. since 1996 the united states has betrayed that promise. we've deported thousands of our veterans and every day we deport more. just last week i supported [inaudible] a two-time iraq and afghanistan war veteran, combat veteran who suffered a traumatic brain injury and who struggles with severe ptsd and substance abuse. they came to the u.s. as a three euro child and knows no other home. he cares for his life in el salvador paid these deportations are unconscionable and immoral and the result of three forces working together for the first, punishing an unforgiving 1996
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deportation. the failure of the u.s. government to naturalize nonservice members while they are serving. third, hyper- aggressive immigration enforcement over the past decade. deported veterans are nearly all former lawful permanent residents and those interviewed for our 20 -- the united states is the only country they know as home. change made excessively punitive with criminal convictions such as writing a bad check or possession for failed marijuana and even convictions for those who may serve no time in jail at all with prior deportation bars them for life. ninety-six laws dramatically expanded the definition of the category known as aggravated felonies. today the term is a whole host
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of nonviolent misdemeanors but are neither aggregated nor felonies. the law may deportation men today are by eliminating all forms of judicial suppression meaning a single colonel conviction, one mistake, could equal a lifetime of the banishment with no exception. it means the judge will not be permitted to consider whether deportation because it domestic violence occurred more than ten years ago and they will not be able to served honorably to earn the rank of sergeant. he lived in the united states for 52 years since he was four years old and as a successful engineering career, two grown sons and a granddaughter and extended family who are all u.s. citizens. the judge will not consider the deportation was forcing him to live the remainder of his life
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estranged from everything he knows because the law says one mistake and you are out. citizen and noncitizen veterans equally struggle with reentry following discharge and substance abuse, mental health issues and anger can lead to contact with the colonel justice system and as a society with that inflict our veterans. the policy looks the other way. [inaudible] is here today and sitting behind me with his daughter deported for the crime of spitting on a police officer which was defined as an aggravated felony. he served one year in connecticut prison and at the conclusion of a sentence ice was at the prison door and they arrested him and detained him for 3.5 years, 3.5 years without the rights to be released on bail. he fought his deportation and then deported him. do not matter he served eight
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honorable years in two young daughters their father. one mistake. because of the change in law and allowed to get his green card back. most aborted veterans have no such options for return. u.s. will not be deporting the veterans how the government kept his promise to them and made them citizens while they were in the military. over the years numerous obstacles have stood in the way of service members naturalizing. none of those obstacles, none are greater than the obstacles service members are facing today with the deferment of defense and immigration service polici policies, miguel behind me and body the hope of deported veterans around the world their
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hopes lay at the feet of congress and they did not turn their back on our country. we must not turn our back on them. >> thank you. missus stock, welcome. >> congressman, chairwoman, ranking member, distinguished members of the subcommittee name is margaret stock and a monitor to testify today. the last three years have witnessed in an effort to stop immigrants from joining the military, stalling their naturalization when they do join in preventing them from continuing to serve. the new policies do not make our country safer and they harm military recruiting and hurt military readiness and prevent the armed forces from utilizing talent. the new policies hide behind
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balls rationales to conceal xena phobic motives and represent broken promises who would put their lives on the line in the previous efforts of congress to help noncitizen military members become citizens and the improvements for the naturalization cases have been eradicated and in 2018 the media reported the number of service members applying for naturalization after -- a story said immigrant serving in a motivator more military members cannot file for citizenship unless they receive a certified form in four to six stating they are serving honorably and three years ago getting the form signed really required a trip to the nearest military personnel office and recently the
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deferment of defense changed the rules where this form can be survived and duty now requires an officer in the rate of zero they have great difficulty finding an officer of this grade willing to sign their forms. under the 2018 military processing act u.s. was required to process military naturalization applications within six months and however the law contained [inaudible]. when the law was in effect you ask process military naturalization applications quickly. today u.s. cs takes the position there is no deadline for processing these cases and they are now taking years to process. in mid 2009 they started a highly successful program whereby noncitizen military recruits filed for naturalization when they reported to training and in accordance with previous long-standing wartime practice
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these allegations were processed so the soldiers graduated from training and became u.s. citizens at the same time. the current administration terminated this program in early 2018. last thursday i was at the only a few short blocks from the world trade center and adams square with its eye-catching monument to chinese americans who fought in the on them all played a continuous loop to illustrate the promise was made in that film is false. there is no more expedited military naturalization. today it takes much longer for a military member to naturalize than his or her civilian counterparts. military members application is much more likely to be denied. military members have had to
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resort increasingly to the courts to get the agencies to follow the law. last week and active duty soldier with no criminal record had to sue dhs to the agency refused to make a decision on her naturalization. the law mandates the decision was made within 120 days of an interview. alayna was interviewed more than three years ago. u.s. cis officials so they decided not to naturalize her until she was discharged citing new dod policies. she was discharged honorably last it's easier for a civilian green card holder to naturalize then green card holders naturalize through their military service paid as a result immigration lawyers are now advising green card holders not to join the military more difficult. dod has made it more difficult for noncitizens to join the
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military in the first place. immigrants make up about 13.5% of the u.s. population they are now less than 4% of the military. military recruiters report to me they are nativeborn americans and some they cannot find qualified candidates so the billets go unfilled. u.s. cis has recently changed policies or plans to change policies in ways that harm family numbers of military personnel and veterans. policy changes are made without conspiracy or account ability and without asking key stake holders first. i would be remiss if i did not mention the broken promise made to foreign nationals who work with the u.s. government in iraq or afghanistan. many of the workers have tried to get special immigrant visas promised to them by congress but remain in danger while they await background checks that drag on for years. the united states government breaks the promises made to
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these individual who put their lives on the line and previously passed rigorous background checks american foreign policy and the lives of american military members are put at risk. national security depends on keeping the promises that america makes the immigrants who come here and keeping the promises we make a someone stands before an american flag, raises her right hand and takes the oath of the allegiance to the united states. we need to keep this promise that america is the nation of immigrants. they show no interest in reversing their misguided policy changes in congress must act. in my written testimony i make ten suggestions for things that congress can do to the u.s. government has made to america's fighting men and women prayed i thank you for the opportunity to testify and i'm ready for questions. >> thank you for your comments. mr. metcalf, welcome. >> thank you. it's an honor to be here.
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i think all of you and think the panelists for their statement. i'm a colonel, soldier with 28 year of service and served at the victory base combat in my unit was a maneuver enhancement brigade and closed american operations in iraq [inaudible] with us for soldiers, jamaica, cameroon, ukraine, in one case a naturalized citizen served as a combat arms company commander and all earned their citizenship. thorough background checks for the rule and this brings me to the point i believe critical to good policy. first of all, we may have differences of opinion today but we are all americans. the policies conceived to advance the experience of immigrants is wide, large and it
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is generous. i favor a 180 day active-duty service apartment for noncitizens that allows basic throwback projects and completed and can better identify individuals whose histories require further investigation with a continue a more rigorous and sensitive training. this is not onerous in the light of the great response bullies and opportunities service and the american military offers. time and service requirements permit suitability assessments as financial, with policies [inaudible] are conferred upon those who have no credible doubts about their suitability. i turn now to [inaudible] program. it was created to enhance force
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readiness. medical and language skills were augmented through its application and some 10404 nationals were enlisted. still it was halted by the obama administration and fall any 16. generally the recruits have verifiable public and private records from outside the u.s. it made the need to scrutinize their histories all the more important so that no worthy candidate is denied membership in our armed services and moves on to citizenship. i favor approaches to scrutiny already put in place by doj. recent experiences justified the rigor and possibility and i want to point out in my more illustrated statement to you the incidences involving fraudulent applications in one case the chinese national posing as a recruit only to be found as a chinese espionage as it.
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i want to move on to the removal of veterans. first of all, if i had been an immigration judge i would have canceled his removal from the united states. as a judge in miami. i've awarded 75-80% of all cancellation [inaudible] by the way, my grant of 75-80% cancellations was not unusual. the numbers from the immigration courts, if you start parsing them, mr. chairman shows are judges are generous with the grant with the lpr's and npr's and that is something we can talk about in further hearings but i want to point out that this is a perfect example of what cancellation was intended to relieve. also, i want to point out that
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the cancellation process takes into consideration the kind of deep dive into the facts that the elements now being used by ice should have been using all along. i note that veterans overall criminal history is rehabilitation, family, financial ties to the u.s., and women history, health, community service in addition to the duty status whether active or reser reserve, years of service and decorations awarded. these are proper considerations to remove one veteran who should not be removed is one too many to consider each case on a case-by-case basis looking at all the facts applicable is the right approach and will always be the right approach. i thank you for your time today and i'm happy to answer questions you and the members and the panel may have. >> thank you. i would like to proceed under the five minute rule for
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questions. i will begin by organizing myself mr. metcalf you are right this is not a democrat or republican issue but an issue about justice for all our veterans who have served our country and but essentially their life on the line for our country. if i may respectfully ask the deported veterans could you raise your hand, please. want to thank thank you for your service to our country and my question is the basic one. which is why when these soldiers earned their service why did they not become citizens? were those resources not given to you? were you promised that citizenship? >> thank you for that question paid to things that happen. i think the government needs to be held accountable when they promise citizenship and then needs to be a program in place. >> when you say the government
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promised citizenship. >> it's an individual response ability but definitely the u.s. government needs to make sure there's a program in place that they set aside time or have somebody that can show you what needs to be done. >> thank you. this stock, you mentioned the program terminated and when you graduate from training in terms of putting you in a pasture you said that program has been canceled or suspended? >> the program has been canceled. it existed during world war i, world war ii, korean war, vietnam war and make sense legally for the people are not american citizens but fighting
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in our armed verses. the background checks are done before they enter the service so they should be done -- >> is there a difference, a quantifiable difference, if you're marine, air force, army in terms of citizenships or folks that may become citizenships after discharge? >> all the services had basic training naturalization until 2018 in january when it was canceled. now we have chaos. >> could you be more specific? >> everyday i get a call from green card holder and the majority says nobody will help me file for citizenship and i don't know they're telling me i'm not eligible for citizenship and nobody is willing to assist me. >> when you mention it's harder for the green card holder in the military and the green card holder outside the military to become a citizen how is that? >> civilians don't need to go through convoluted multiyear
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contracts by the deferment of defense before they become citizens. they don't need to get certified and they don't need to find an officer in the ranks -- >> i ask you because i've been in my district and we have a big latino district in the country and these kids i know for my high schools that are residents don't ask how hard it will be for me to become a citizen but they just enlist and marine recruiters are in high school and these kids with honor say i will sign up and i don't think they are there to serve the country. this concerns me because we need to move ahead and revert back soldiers that are serving with honor have the right to become a citizen and that right is a meaningful one. >> the program was highly successful. >> where do we go from here? do we present legislation?
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>> the law allows programs like this to exist and they were common. world war i, world war ii, vietnam war, korean war, this was standard practice of the government and only reversed by the department of defense in internal memos that undermine the intent express of congress with a statute passed by congress more than 100 years ago. you have lawlessness by the deferment of defense that are undermining a statute with internal executive memos. >> [inaudible] did you mention that? the 1996 act take away judicial discretion? i know mr. metcalf had a different perspective. tell me. >> yes, that is one the most troubling aspects of the changes made to the immigration laws. it removed had an aggravated felony and expanded the definition of aggregated felony.
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and things that don't classify as aggravated. >> i'm out of time but in orange county we were the first pioneers creating veterans courts and out these issues are complex. we look forward to working with you on this issue. i'd like to recognize mr. biggs for five minutes. >> thank you. i think we all understand that many of our veterans struggle with reintegration due to ptsd issues and that is why i've introduced a bill in legislation to advocate for my colleagues across the aisle to make access to make there be more available and more easily because it's wholehearted to hold support therapy from veterans and when i see mr. -- indicate he was struggling to reintegrate i
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don't think that's unusual for many of our servicemen and women to come back. therapy will be helpful for that. he also said there's no free pass and that deportation is a double punishment. let me explain why that is not so. there is no progress because you did of the time for shooting at a vehicle. that was the charge convicted and you serve your time. it became a deterrent. you were deported because of you are not a citizen and there's nobody else that would get an exception to that here because of any other rationale they would be -- you were deported [inaudible] i'm happy for you you received a pardon and your
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citizenship but to say it's a double punishment -- the first punishment for violating the crime and committing the crime is the criminal sentence itself. deportation is applicable to any person in the country that is not a citizen who has engaged in conduct. that's the penalty that comes from obtaining citizenship and i read your statement and listen to you testify and may have a misunderstanding of what but i want to point out data that is absolutely mind-boggling that was brought up. [inaudible] this individual deported was convicted, among other things, injury to a spouse
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which he received an eight year sentence, assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment. he did not naturalize when he was in the military and then subject to de- portability doe does -- they were not misdemeanors that were as a result of the expansion of aggregated felonies. in seven ... ... >> obligations compared to 683,000 civilian applications. they received military applications, so, there are some interesting things we do
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manipulate the statistics in the way that i heard here today. we reviewed the cases involving 87 of the 92 veterans who were ultimately deported between 2013. eighteen of those veterans, were convicted for sexually abusing others. twenty-one were convicted of a violent felony such is a homicide assault. that is 24 percent of the total. nine were deported for having been convicted of firearms or explosives related things. those cases, i am talking about over half of them were during the obama administration. not on trump. >> mr. chairman i ask unanimous consent to enter these documents, the press release
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chinese alleged acting in the u.s. of the people's public you shall, subsequently believe you are working at high level intelligence officer with chinese. also the 2017, department of defense memo, article service cannot take place until security checks have been completed demonstrating these were taken seriously. nationalization that publicly military service. my time is expired. thank you. that went out objection. >> i would like to call in our chairman for five minutes of questions. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for coming here and sharing your story. it appears stories like pictures
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are all is it too common. in 2019, the report, 250 veterans removal proceedings. 2013 to 200018, at least 92 veterans were deported. i measure my open inc. expend. ptsd, brain injury and other traumas suffered while on active duty. how can the government, said the military people. >> see whose again. >> how can the government especially our blake of defense, better inform veterinary eligibility for naturalization. >> waited to have some kind of program in place there where they can explain the forms that need to be done. that is my thought. >> okay, in your testimony
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today, you laid out on the trump administration made live more difficult for cardholders. enjoy the military and i did then apply for naturalization. world military service members, working on military acquisitio acquisitions, are warned about the changes ahead of time were able to find out if the changes recommended. >> no. and no cost-benefit analysis. >> in fact the services were pushed back of the requirements because they see there unreasonable and making it hard to recruit people. >> so they push back the requirements. >> yes, they don't agree with these requirements. >> his came from dod, upper loophole. >> came from dod which did not do any cross analysis no discussion about it. externally. with stakeholders and no
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analysis on the factors or on military recruiting. >> lpr surfing the military, in 426, requests certification military service which is essential to the naturalization process. signed by the proper authoriti authorities. dod policy changes. >> the put out the demo but they didn't do anything to educate people generally about what should be done and there was haphazard, memos that didn't reach to the lowest levels. in fact if you talk to recruiters today, though still tell you that out, shoulders can be nationalized in basic training. they don't even realize things have changed and people are told that it is easy to get your certified, but you have to wait and take it to your first unit and then we do get there, you can't find anybody who will certify it because there is no public education effort on how to get it certified. >> your experience what is the average time to get a response to the certification.
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once they have completed the 426. >> and is taking months, the exact plan being that if the e-mail it to me, i've especially mail that i can send it to somebody who will get one side and a couple of weeks. if you know in the army. it is only if you know enough to e-mail me. that that happens. >> if you don't, it takes months. >> you can take months of the forms are getting lost, people just never hear back after they submit them. >> what signals do you think that these the empty policy changes thinking about joining the military. what signals do they sick to the lpr currently surfing in the military. >> and forcing whose in the signal that the service has brought valued. that they are not welcome in the military. they also send a signal that they should not join the military until after they get their citizenship because are going to face a very long haul either citizenship and if they try to do it after joining the military. >> one state support services are available,.
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>> they used to be very strong services because the basic training naturalization sites and things that were dedicated to handling military people. doesn't been dismantled so now it is rather ad hoc. there is a military helpline you can call, which often get wrong information we do call the military helpline. >> in other words, the bureaucratic processes have increased. sooner that's correct. >> who may experience what is the average spend of time it takes to process a military naturalization application. >> is used only to get few months but now in monday cases, it is taking upwards of a year or two or sometimes three or four years. >> they planted tilting most of its international field offices, and consolidated overseas naturalization, consolidating beep for hubs. twenty-six field offices and for hubs. how these changes impact service members and their families
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seeking citizenship while abroad. >> it will make it harder. >> one more question. how can we stop the deportation of the military veterans. >> restore basic training naturalization. then we will not have any deported best if everyone gets nationalized before the ligament the military. i should.out that congress put an apartment safeguard in the law expedited naturalization. the law says that if you don't surf honorably for a period or periods aggregating five years, you can't lose your citizenship that you gain through military service. so there is no reason for these misguided policies because the legal means already is in the law can take care of anybody who is the bad actor and misbehaves after they get their citizenship. no reason other than ill will. thank you i yield back.
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>> do you have security clearance currently. some are currently no i am retired. he smacked you have any access to classified information that was involved in making decisions about who would receive and which veterans would receive citizenship. spak i only reviewed unclassified summaries. >> would you be surprised to know that there were thousands of folks who for classified reasons, were not allowed to receive citizenship because they had ties to foreign countries. >> that is not correct. >> you nobly that. >> the citizen applications are actually not classified. >> his classified information is to why they did not receive citizenship. it's >> that is not classified, they give you a written decision telling you why they're being denied. >> see you believe that they have ties to china, and a chinese intelligence services, that there will be a public statement identifying that person is having ties to chinese intelligence where it is that we are staying. >> no i'm staying we do go through the naturalization process is the completed forum
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and you have an interview and here denied you are given a written statement in writing explain why your denied of naturalization. spilling in that written statement, may not include the reasons for the classified reasons for you not to be given the privilege of becoming a u.s. citizen. >> they will tell you directly why you know being denied. some xo seriously, you know staying here today that a top secret relationship, top secret information that has been developed during the obama administration by the way that identifies an individual is having a relationship with a chinese intelligence service, that is going to be identified in a public document. that's what you are staying. >> what i am staying is we do apply for citizenship, there is a forum that has two questions including things like what if you have done whose that or the other thing and you have to answered those questions on oath.
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and if you live on oath, they will deny you naturalization and they will see we are daily denying you because you live to us and said x wasn't true. it's given to the individual. they don't need to rely unclassified information and they don't. >> so they certainly have access to classified information when the make a decision about weather to grant someone citizenship. >> they don't normally know. among the department of defense doesn't have information to that. >> one agency of the government will work with another agency in the right to determine weather someone has a relationship that would be running to whose country. >> interestingly, they don't pass that information along. whose came out of court proceeding recently that if they have that information, they don't give it to the staff anyway. >> the national class. no one has been denied no veteran has been denied
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citizenship based on a relationship with a foreign intelligence service. >> i think the case that was raised earlier, he was never nationalized. >> but that's not my question. my question is your understanding is there has never been an individual denied citizenship of the veteran denied citizen ship is a result of ace relationship with the foreign intelligence service. >> i can answered that because the country has been fighting since 1775. and i can't because it's more than 200 years. but i can tell you that national concern eight concerns, are overblown and that was proven in a court case in seattle with the department of defense came into court and presented the facts to the judge and the judge dismissed them concerning them and staying they were not valid. >> whose into a real simple question. would you be in favor of naturalizing an individual or for them to become an naturalized citizen if they had
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relationship with the foreign intelligence service. >> i'm not sure what you mean by relationship. >> they work for and receive her name from, a foreign intelligence service to provide information about the united states of america. >> the individual is the spy, and they failed to reveal that information in the naturalization application when they got nationalized by accident, they could be 19 nationalists is sims the government found out that information that could be prosecuted and departed. i am certainly in favor of that. >> my question is would you be in favor of naturalizing that person. >> i'm not in favor of naturalizing anyone who doesn't meet the requirements of becoming the national citizen. and certainly a spy does not qualify. >> think you very much. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think the witnesses for being here. the u.s. military has long relied on evidence to protect our country. within the united states we have
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2.4 million veterans with emigrant ties. we also rely on assistance from foreign nationals abroad including afghanistan and iraq. in january of 2006, congress created a special immigrant visa ordinance iv, to provide a path to safety in the united states for iraq in translators who work for the u.s. the military and artists of secretly facing danger. whose is simple common sense in my view toward people put their lives on the line to send it to defend our country, the only right thing to do is to make sure that they and their families are protected. primary care now, i've heard from congressman raskin in the number of republican offices to educate private gentlemen who i will call mohammed abroad. the the translator who worked with the u.s. military and several national and international agencies for nearly a decade in afghanistan. and your experience is a lieutenant colonel in the
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military police work and u.s. army reserve, would you agree that the assistance of native translators in countries like afghanistan and iraq, have been critical to the u.s. military operations in those countries. >> absolutely yes. it was that makes them operational. >> we need them to understand the local culture and local language. >> loophole of danger that putting himself in when they are great to do the job. smack they're putting themselves in extreme danger and monday have been killed. their family members have been murder because they sided with the united states and the overseas. >> unsurprisingly like mr mr. common due to their service, had faced persistent persecution including assassination that threats from the taliban. one week ago, mr. common was arrested by military police and there is a possibility that he will be disappeared. and yet, the state has denied
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mr. conference application" discretionary basis. whose case is about larger thing. the data shows that 60 percent drop in a side view drop among iraqis was even worse from 2500 and 2017, to 181 in 2019. in the drop of over 90 percent. in your opinion, what is causing these delays and drops and omissions. >> fear, on the part of the bureaucrats who are supposed to be conducting background checks on these individuals. they are afraid to approve anyone. it is also a lack of resources and lack of attention by the leadership. they don't seem to want to focus on business process of saving folks and put their lives a live or america. >> can we improve whose program to a t-shirt access for safety for our allies on the sap program. >> they passed a statute that set a deadline but it
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unfortunately bureaucracy is ignoring the deadline. so i think congress needs to provide strong oversight to ensure the statues are followed. >> what is the process currently look like for an applicant. they're very been vetted to surf alongside her trips, has brought quite a pit of heavy betting that is already been dead for these individuals. >> they are ready heavily vetted and they have huge files filled with testimonials about their loyal service to the united states. sometimes the rev. period of monday years. it is unclear what exactly is going on in that subsequent betting that seems to take years and years and from what i can to help most it is simply a file being put on chef and nothing happening. snacking beyond the immediate humanitarian inserts protect those who risk their lives for us, another thing that concerns me is the message that we are sending to potential future allies. so how does whose failure to protect these people impact our national securities interested in the ability of our troops to safely do their jobs interact in an instant.
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>> is quite bad. people who are actually out there that might be wheeling to help us in the future, are going to turn and look at how mohammed was treated and see, i want to take those chance and i'm not going to help you. tonight mr. chairman of the treatment of people who put their lives on the line, defending our country is just unacceptable weather it is immigrants leaving here who signed up protect our country or people abroad going down so despite significant threat to date and their families lives and it is our duty to stay on alongside these communities and demand justice. i yield back. >> i fully agree with you and i like to call on ms. garcia from the state of texas. >> thank you. for convening whose hearing on whose very important topic. i know whose is something that monday of us in texas are really concerned about. number 20 percent of people who benefit worded the medal of
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honor, are not born in the united states. my state of texas is found about the second-highest number of noncitizens and second-highest number of veterans in the nation. therefore texas is home to a high number of noncitizens veterans making whose topic especially important to monday of us particular to monday of my constituents. according to a 2017, report from the national immigration forum, about 40000 immigrants currently surf in the armed forces and about 5000 noncitizens and less each year. it must not forget the people behind his numbers. like mr. lookers who came to the united states when the young boy and his family in 1978, and settled in texas. he graduated from high school and joined the navy. is he says, out of pride for his country and following an honorable discharge he went on to surf in the army national guard. he also worked at his local
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department of veterans affairs office. while surfing in the navy, will during the persian gulf gulf war, he would do what monday do when they were docked. it would go out drinking. and perhaps, using it is a way to cope with their anxiety about the work. later in live, unfortunately he was convicted of a dwi he was unable to afford an attorney and was deported back to mexico. when his wife asked him why he can't adjust to live there. is responsibly with whose is in my live. it is true that immigrants are offered the most patriotic americans. they are able to truly appreciate the contrast of how wonderful it is to live in the united states. it has been noted that noncitizens have in fact join the armed services is the revolutionary war and since then, likewise joined ranks the follow-up on site and counterparts to whatever major conflict, help more, but award
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of 1812, turn in the middle east. so i think our witness here today who speaks for the veterans and all of those who join today. i began my question with you sir, you said that you don't really get the details about the process. >> when i was in the military, you could go through but nobody really directed me towards the path and i really think that we need make sure that our squad leaders or somebody at some., make sure that that happens. >> to get legal assistance out. >> i'm not sure what it is right
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now. but some kind of a department. it's been out for almost 20 years. >> my colleague, introduced lori agents act, a simple bill that would allow veterans to get pastors medicine ship. honorably discharged, and they have not been convicted of involuntary month and slaughter rape sexual abuse of a minor or anything risen and related to present. to support whose. >> yes. >> do you miss pascarella camp? >> i'm not reviewed the bill so i cannot give you an affirmative sterno. >> sums that but one of my colleagues that whose wasn't really double punishment. i'm going to read straight out of the land of the free report from the texas rights project
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which i like to enter into the record. noncitizens have in fact join armed forces it really is a double punishment. you go through the criminal justice system when you are convicted on that conviction then used to deport you in your deported sodas double punishme punishment. he said that there was no logic to that. do you agree or disagree that that is double punishment. you ma'am. >> absolutely agree. i percent double punishment. people started the timing criminal because they, they pay the price for the crime and if you go home to family to the citizen families the home. instead they face lifetime management is is if they are surfing a live sentence. because the cavity be with their families in them they can't be with everything they know in
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live. >> thank you i go back. >> thank you very much i like to call it is from the state of colorado. >> thank you mr. care. and thank you for hosting whose important hearing. also want to start by taking her veterans in a room i want to thank them is it too hard for your baby bravery and service for her country. is has been said by monday of my colleagues, whose administrati administration, immigrants have been on constant attack including those fighting for our freedom. they have served in the military since the revolutionary war. and continue to surf today. most are lawful permanent residence. about 511,000 foreign-born veterans, are residing in the u.s. and represent 3 percent of the total veteran population. 18.8 million. they feel volatile roles in the military. they're not it not use u.s. citizen records. first example, certain
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internationals of iraq and afghanistan have served is interpreters. their applications are being delayed which make and can make them at risk of being targeted for assisting the u.s. the changes, and numerous policies are atrocious in hurting veterans and their families and they have made it hard for military service members and nationalized for the families to adjust status and receive protection for deportation. instead, in my view which we focus on ensuring that veterans receive the medical care they aren't and helping with their immigration cases. they have policies that require to take additional steps and potentially removable noncitizen veterans. however your report found were unaware of the policies in place for veterans in whose proceedings. it is beyond disheartening to hear that our veterans are not being given the appropriate loophole of review on their immigration cases and honest be
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clear, it is un-american to deport immigrants fighting for our safety and our freedom. we should not leave to feel abandoned and feel helpless. mr. heck of a, i want to first thank you for your service to our country. >> thank you. >> you chose to enlist in the army at edge 17. is of her five years inured honorable discharge in 2001. is a veteran and is a green card holder, if you lack the protection of citizenship in your deported after surfing time for criminal charge after discharge. could you please walk us through how whose may have been different if you would've received guidance from u.s. military and how to apply for citizenship. either during or after your service. >> i firmly believe the my squad leader would've sat me down and said people see we should hold your hands and they were not there to hold your hand but literally, we are there to show you how to march and make sure
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that your power of attorney has done so why not make sure we sit down with their soldiers make sure that we are taken care of so that before they go off to afghanistan or vietnam that there are ready use citizen so it is very important to take care of our soldiers. >> thank you. lieutenant colonel stock, thank you for your service as well. thank you for being here today. in your testimony i believe certainly written testimony, you mentioned that the apartment of defense issued to policy changes in 2017, and have made it harder for military citizens service members to naturalize. from your experience, what is the average time that it takes for service member to receive a response for a request for certification of our normal service, once they complete their u.s. cis forum and for 26. >> i mentioned earlier, it varies dramatically. right now sometimes they don't get a response at all but it is taking monday months since the
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policy change pretty used to happen in a matter of minutes. you walk into your local middle terry personal office and a one-page forum, i certify that i am surfing honorably. the clerk would look up your record on the system and you would get an officer to sign your forum almost immediately. but now is taking months and months. >> and matter of minutes, deviously to now a matter of months. potentially never release receiving an answered. a lot of people tell me they send in a forum and never get an answered. three what message does that send is the sin. >> a lot of lpr his are now contacting me and telling me they are deciding not to join the military. they're going to wait to get there citizenship. it takes about six months. they can file electronically if their civilians and they can't do that is necessary. absent a packet in through the mail to chicago. which is lost in military people often told their pack has been
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lost. i was in sacramento a couple weeks ago with the greenhalgh holder who had finished all of his training and was applying for citizenship and he walked into the building for his nationalization. i am sorry your lawyer to hear several thousand miles. we have lost your packet. we're letting you know when we find it, and we have not heard from them ever since. >> thank you. the stories you shared today are stories we certainly need to hear and i hope the administration is listening. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for all of the witnesses for being here whose afternoon hearing your stories. and your testimonies. florida is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country. we actually have the third largest population of veterans in florida and the country around 1.5 million my district is also home to some veterans
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that have been waiting for the naturalization process. one of the things that i want to make sure very clear, for those members who have served our country, several of you here, we owe you our deepest respect, and our gratitude but i also hear from service members and veterans about the stress that surfing our country pets and their families and their children. servicemembers sacrifice a great deal and send their loved ones we should not be making the lives for them any harder. our men and women in uniform but their lives alondra and earned the privilege to live and work in our country. and naturalize since in myself and i know how arduous the process is to become a legal u.s. citizen but if we are asking our servicemembers to put their lives on the line, to fight for our freedom we need to
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make sure that the naturalization process is much easier for them. on whose demonstration we've seen that the number has declined to 44 percent almost half and it is just on an acceptable. we should not be making it more difficult probable members of our military to naturalize. my first quick question is can you explain to us why those net numbers have dropped significantly in the past two years. >> the drop for a couple of reason deity is made it hard for green her card join the military. second, if you don't drink, you can't apply for naturalization. second they made hard for the forum signed that they need in order to apply. and you can apply that went out those forms and can't get aside, then you are not eligible. and then they made it more difficult to get citizenship they are applying different standards to military people that are inappropriate an example is a woman sitting in the audience today, she was
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wrongly denied naturalization by u.s. citizenship and immigration services and denied her application while she was surfing on active duty military. she then replied for naturalization. she was discharged from the military and approve for naturalization after the aco philippe took the case and filed a lawsuit against the government. the case of someone is wrongly denied citizenship they seconded and it makes no sense. >> i'm assuming she wasn't a chinese spy. i think she is from south korea. >> [laughter] fan was reason given to her when she was surfing but was denied. smirked they said she lacked good moral character. >> whose was a catchall term when they come up with some excuse for you know in the military we don't think you should be a citizen so were going to see you lacked good moral character.
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>> seems like a lot of these changes are just cruel that went out an excavation to that. what is the purpose of changing whose policy do you think. >> homophobia. >> i can prove it. i can prove it. >> sometimes my colleagues exit doesn't exist. >> by directing the distinguish members of the subcommittee to start taking a look at this so-called [applause] the dod is doing on the immigrants wanting to join the military. they are laughable and bizarre. they see things things like you have a relative that served in the south korean military and it requires you discharged from the military making you. >> - derogatory information. the dod, knew they were
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immigrants. my definition all of their parents are foreign. if their parents work segment citizens, they would be enemies yet they are being told whose is derogatory information in an regarding requiring them to discharge from the military. >> no longer considering children is residing in the u.s. for purposes of acquiring u.s. citizenship so kids that are born outside of the united states, their parents are u.s. citizens, are now being denied u.s. citizenship can you talk briefly about that i'm very concerned about whose. >> whose has brought something that the agency warned anybody about ahead of time though off of i'm turn i'm told that they floated it. but no one understood it and immigration law. it would've learned that loss and loss of were going to be affected by whose. but because the agency doesn't understand them?
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over the didn't realize the claim grown 25 children affected whose untrue. so what happened was he said basically they're going to punish people who choose to be stationed overseas or send overseas and they live in the u.s., because of the automatically a citizen. big there not leaving the u.s., they're not. and they're going have to file convoluted applications. >> these are kids of the citizenship. thank you i have ran out of time. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you for having whose very important hearing today. monday thanks to our witnesses we really appreciate the time you've spent helping educate the subcommittee on the issue and i want to thank veterans and their families who are in the audience who flew all of the way to washington dc to make sure that it wasn't just your voices that were heard that the voices that you bring with you of all veterans who have had to endure
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really the trauma that you all have endured for after having served our country and protected our nation thank you for your service and please share my gratitude for the gratitude that so monday of us have with your fellow servicemembers who have had to endure the same kind of trauma. please tell them we are grateful for their service. i represent el paso texas which is a great state and safe secure city on the mexico border which is also a home to fort. one of the most important military installations in the country. so monday of these issues for me, el paso is in intercession of those issues. immigration and really the attacks on migrants that we have seen on whose administration but also trying to help left and support the veterans and
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military personnel and it is really, it has been very difficult to watch how our country has turned our backs not just on allies but turned our backs on servicemembers who have fought honorably for our country and yet whose is the double punishment. there is absolutely no doubt and i just want to remind some of my colleagues that we seem to have come a long way in recognizing how veterans after they have served honorably face these really incredible challenges and reentering into communities especially after being in theater, and sending in the war and so we go the extra step and we have created veterans services programs and we have created a specialty court for fed trends convicted are being
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tried for dwi for drug related offenses. so that we can continue be there for veterans who have been there for us but it's a different story when the veteran is an immigrant. it appears. only touch a little bit on, you mentioned the dod background checks. he said some really interesting things about the challenges with those dod background checks. is there an appeals process for a personnel who want to appeal some of those things that you outlined when you work being questioned. >> there wasn't until some of the immigrants have filed a lawsuit now there's a lawsuit pending for the district court for the district of columbia and the army has decided to institute some sort of process due process. because the immigrants were
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being kicked out of the military that went out being told they are being kicked out. in the army has a grade that it will provide some due process. and again, if you look at these background checks, they are not, they don't have anything to do with citizenship of availability. military is applying whose top-secret like guidelines to immigrants. and they see that any foreign anything foreign is derogatory. so it is a mismatch enema site to apply those guidelines to determine weather an immigrant is eligible to surf in the military. it causes massive failure rates of the background checks because all the immigrants have foreign parents. they have foreign bank account because they migrated from a foreign country and they had a foreign bank account. they are foreign who served in the south korean military. one of our allies for example that something that caused the failure. so the dod internally have the knowledge they can't get out of it because there's a bureaucratic struggle going on
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between the folks at the consolidated adjudication facility that clung to their guidelines even though they don't oblige immigrants. and there is now supposed to be some due process but it's funny. and there's still images being discharged to her not being told wife there being discharged and not giving a chance to review the record. it is a travesty i hope congress will look into it. i think is right for gao investigation into these background checks and i would add that causing the government thousands upon thousands of dollars. to figure out the immigrants have foreign parents. >> thank you i yield back. >> i would like to call on ms. jackson from texas. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you to the witnesses that i hear. if i might, at those who have served in the united states military is her hands. thank you so very much for your
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service. my applause to you. men and women here, who have served in combat. thank you so very much. i recall being here for 911, and not trying to give anything to a story but i remember is the call came for individuals for the tradition and commitment to one's country and the chairman, there were numbers and numbers of legal permanent residents who heated the crime both for war in afghanistan and the war in iraq. interestingly enough i have no recollection of any i.c.e. involvement on anything. i do remember a series legislative initiatives to
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provide for opportunity for soldiers in theater. to be naturalized. naturalization ceremonies were going on. it's very interesting. the country was in need, men and women who either immigrants themselves are immigrants parents, wearing the uniform unselfishly and offer their lives. there are legal current residents who are in the nation his cemeteries today. iraq and afghan wars. so am baffled about where we are today. and i think whose is the very important hearing but i also believe whose should be to the attention of the armed services committee. if there was joint legislation it would have to be an accommodation with the arm services committees of the department of defense can wake up. and forgive me, if these questions have been answered but
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there is a standard that isis is supposed to utilize their dressing veterans. they need to consider it criminal history financial times, employment and health and community services. it comes to my attention with our report, the sum of the folks in i.c.e., don't even know they are supposed to do that. or handling list of criteria to even address. so if i could ask folks, actor, and jodi, first if you can tell me what kind of complexity that puts your members or he would enact with when they're not given any fair assessment by the
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local i.c.e. officer because they are not seeing washington piercing weiss where they are. could you answered that please. >> shirt it creates a problem. one thing that could be fixed is when i went to la county jail the ashley asked me if i was a veteran or not. in the book with front certain procedures. deftly in, they don't even ask you. so that probably didn't even know what procedures to take so deftly need to make sure that the government is accountable for that. >> so we need to put in a separate construct for veterans, at least require a bowl, immigration services are i.c.e. component, you have to ask the question. you have to prioritize veteran immigrants in your assessment of naturalization of processing rather than i have lost your packet. so insecure and insignificant bloodlust your packet. can you help us with the work
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that you do and the frustration i guess that you face. >> we have to address it on two fronts. first on the front end, where the person is encountering i.c.e. there should be a requirement that a minimum i.c.e. asked every person weather or not there either surfing the military or are a veteran. we know that doing that. second they should actually implement policies that they have and ideally improve the policies to actually do that assessment to know if they are new veteran interview that assessment and weigh all of the equities and everything else about the live weather removal actually is sensible policy decision. but then on the back and we also have to ensure that even devices put someone into proceedings that are law accounts for the fact that somebody may have served our country and deserves to remain in the united states. i want to correct something that was said earlier by mr. metcalf his is very important.
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law 1996 eliminated all judicial determination including cancellation of removal. cancellation of removal was not available fracture when he was being deported from his country. the law 96, eliminated any ability for a judge to consider military service as well is any other equities a person would apply. so we have to address it. with i.c.e. a simple policy. well also have two uphold the law. >> mr. metcalf would you like to respond. >> i just want to tell you, i was a judge in miami. i can't tell you that every case would come before me on the rubric has been testified to would have survived and challenge of cancellation from the government and i know that i granted 75 percent and 80 percent of the applications that came before me and them he also had i was typical of judges across the country and we do add the view me we do have the
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veteran his overall criminal history, his or her rehabilitations, family and financial ties to the u.s., employment history community service in addition to duty status was on using and decorated aborted, that is calling on the judge to do a much deeper dive. to cause also on the agency looking at that person to do a deeper dive. now i suggest you that when judges have that kind of blush in front of them on the administrative take the you know going to consider that to be informed by that in their judgments is certainly informed mine on people who were not in front of me is veterans. but is people who had a host of problems which prompted u.s. to see the removal. so i want to balance the opini opinion. >> thank you. if i can i'm going to yield.
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>> i think the disconnect here is the statue hearts judges from granting any relief on cancellation of removal to regard all those who are convicted of a so-called aggravated felony and if a man can give you an example i know of an individual surfing currently on active duty in the navy was a career navy person who long ago got convicted of something called obstruction of justice in virginia at the time a very minor offense he was told that it would not have any impact on his military career and he went on to surf a full career in the united states navy they apply for citizenship, he was told that whose is an aggravated felony and immigration law and has brought eligible for citizenship and told him he would not be deported until he leaves the navy so try to put off his retirement if you know in front of the honorable and more metcalf, he would not be eligible for cancellation of removal because the government considers it to be aggravated.
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>> i would take those deeper dive mr. chairman. >> requires us to look to the options of the individual who's been victimized. so i've yield back. >> thank you. i can, pennsylvania. >> thank you very much. and thank you for your testimony all of you on the important issue. the impact of current immigration policy, and their families. i think it is really important that we look at the impact and the cost for national security. international honor. of the current administration and the impact they are having on the armed forces and those who work with us. the fact that we are breaking our word to men and women who put their lives in the line for their country, is profoundly disturbing to me. i also want to note the irony that of the two portraits that
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hang on the floor of the house of representatives, what is george washington and another is a foreign national the phosphorus that would be the marquis to lafayette. so certainly we have a long history in whose country of relying upon persons of goodwill who may not be american citizens. but with respect to the impact on our national security, i have some familiarity with the issue of whose abby applicants, the iraqi and afghani, national who work with our armed forces. before i came here, almost a year ago, i worked with the hard rock group. there are a law students about term volunteers would represent iraqi and afghan and translators drivers who worked with our armed forces and in particular recall one gentleman whose work with our armed forces and if any and is the translator for five years. and when he recognized a taliban
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member in one of our bases and reported him thereby saving the lives of monday of our forces he then had to go into hiding. and he remained in hiding with his family for four years. while his application was processed. he did finally get here but it was a long process and i certainly heard additional folks who had more difficulty and have been unable to get the applications process. the impact on national security is huge. i recall if you had figures on what the processing rates are at whose.if you could respond that. >> is my written testimony. so i would refer to that. >> they have dropped down. >> they have dropped significantly in the travel ban has affected the ability of the applicants. processing an uptick in people who have been approved initially but now suddenly, for mysterious
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reasons for unknown to anybody they have been revoked and there is an appeal process that doesn't work. they send the request for information and the allegations in the number her anything again. in fact that an e-mail today from hearing the summit incident response to completely erroneous allegations made against them after he was granted a piece of it that they revoked it and he said in his rebuttal proven conclusively that these allegations to her he hasn't heard anything. >> our case was very similar. meditate all of the way up to the court of appeals. >> with respect i was also concerned about the testimony concerning folks who join our military but the expectation that they would become citizens and the fact that her military is now having trouble recruiting citizens to build those. can anyone on the panel speak to that.
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>> special operations command has conveyed to me that they're having trouble finding people his big languages of the countries in which they are operating. and if whose has reached a critical. they can't find people. in a group of people that were helpful are the folks that know about cyber work. it is just a fact that we have a lot of legal eminence in the united states of great cyber skills. but the camp with them to work the next day celeste their american citizens. if you have to be an american citizen to get a security clearance. and if they can't get into military and the can get their citizenship so they can fill the ranks of cyber command and cyber command is short. >> so in a country that is always relied on the skills. were turning people away from one of our most highest and important duties. >> that's correct. >> i yield back. >> thank you. let me first of all, include today's hearing first i want to make a couple of comments which is a lot of the policies that we
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are talking about here has brought a democratic or republican issue. a lot of the policies regarding today received a current administration think back to democratic administrations. i am hoping that my colleagues from the side of the aisle will join us and come up with some good comments in legislation and your witnesses here today, you identified some very solid public policy decisions proposal that we need to move forward in and we can because whose is about america and about keeping your commitment to our veterans and making sure that no soldier is left behind. i am hoping we can move forward and let me thank all of the witnesses here today in our veterans that are here today who can never thank you enough for your service to our country. i'm going to conclude whose hearing by once again thanking the panelists in our witnesses and that went out objection all
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members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions. and for the witnesses who additional materials for the record, and i look forward to continuing to work with you. that went out objection, whose committee is now concluded. [background sounds] whose week the house will consider it the next days of the impeachment inquiry against president trump. by taking up a resolution but affirms committee work so far and any additional in the future. including the possibility of public hearings. lawmakers are planning to debate and vote on the measure whose thursday. is always, will have a live and gavel to gavel coverage on c-span. >> senior staff writer, what is in the democrats impeant


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