Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez testifies on Capitol Hill
U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) is not taking no for an answer when it comes to bringing home deported veterans.
Last July, Gonzalez introduced the Repatriate our Patriots Act.
Since then, it has moved forward to the Subcommittee, Committee of Judiciary and finally the House Rules Committee, where the congressman testified Tuesday.
The House Rules Committee was not in favor of Gonzalez’s proposed amendment in protecting veterans.
However, Gonzalez wanted to take the opportunity to make clear that the deportation of veterans is not an immigration issue.
Some of the purposes behind H.R.3429 include keeping veterans who have been honorably discharged from deportation, excluding those convicted of felony charges; returning those who have already been removed from the U.S., and identification of immigration cases involving veterans.
Gonzalez did make some exceptions for those who can be brought back into the country. Those accused of murder, rape, sexual assault of a child or a terroristic act will be permitted to return to the U.S.
"I didn't want people saying, 'You’re going to allow murderers and rapist into the country,'” Gonzalez said. “The vast, vast majority of our veterans that were deported are folks that come home after the war with high levels of PTSD."
At this point, Gonzalez says he is unsure of how long more veterans will have to wait, but he vows to get more support for his bill.