Democratic lawmakers have joined together to introduce legislation that would protect immigrant gold star and military families from deportation.
Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) alongside Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D), Texas Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D), Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar (D) and Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D) have introduced the Protecting Immigrant Gold Star and Military Families Act, which comes at a time when President Trump has expressed his hard-line immigration stance. In addition, the Trump administration also announced that it would be scaling back the Parole in Place program, which is a program that protects undocumented military family members from deportation.
With the legislation, the Trump administration would be prevented from deporting the immediate family members – parents, spouses, children and siblings – of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans who served in active duty that were discharged for conditions other than dishonorable, and servicemembers that died in the line of duty if they haven’t committed any serious crimes.
Florida Rep. Soto commented on the need for the legislation, arguing that our Armed Forces and veterans have made difficult personal sacrifices to defend America’s freedom.” Because of that, Soto accuses the Trump administration of showing its gratitude “by deporting their family members.”
He added that “Trump’s zero-tolerance policy and low-priority deportations have caused irreparable harm in our communities.”
Highlighting Florida, Soto explains that Central Florida “witnessed the devastating consequences of ripping families apart through the heartless deportation of Alejandra Juarez, a veteran spouse who was forced to leave the United States, separating her husband and daughters.”
Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar echoed in Soto’s remarks, adding that “our fallen heroes selflessly gave their lives in defense of our nation’s freedom and values.”
Moreover, Escobar expressed that “in their memory and regardless of their immigration status, we must honor our promise to their families and to our active-duty troops and veterans.”