“It’s our responsibility to serve all veterans as well as they have served us – no matter who they are, where they are from, or the status of their citizenship,” said Secretary McDonough. “Keeping that promise means ensuring that noncitizen service members, veterans, and their families are guaranteed a place in the country they swore an oath – and in many cases fought – to defend. We at VA are proud to work alongside DHS to make that happen.”
On Friday, July 2, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and VA Secretary Denis R. McDonough announced a new initiative to support noncitizen US service members, veterans, and their immediate family members. Key efforts include:
- The VA & DHS will identify deported veterans to ensure they are able to obtain VA benefits to which they may be entitled.
- The VA will ensure all veterans, including deported veterans and their families, are vaccinated.
- A review of policies and practices by USCIS, ICE, and CBP to ensure that all eligible current and former noncitizen service members and the immediate families of military members are able to remain in or return to the United States
- The initiative will also remove barriers to naturalization for those eligible, and improve access to immigration services.