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Military Spouses Facing Deportation

by Countable | 3.5.18

What’s the story?

Military Times has broken the story of multiple undocumented military spouses who are facing deportation. Some of them are married to retired soldiers, but some soldiers are on active duty and fear their spouses and children could be deported while they are away fighting for the United States.

Retired 7th Special Forces Group Sgt. 1st Class Bob Crawford and his wife, Elia, were staring down a deportation order on Monday. The release of their story by Military Times drew the attention of the administration, however, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an offer to drop the removal proceedings against Elia so she can stay with Crawford and their two children.

Other military spouses are hoping for similar help and clarity from the administration. Policy states that active-duty, honorably discharged veterans, Guard and Reserve forces will be protected from deportation, as long as there is not a court ruling in place and they have not committed a serious felony. Protections for family members have been unclear and unevenly applied.

Alejandra Juarez and her husband, former Marine Sgt. Cuauhtemoc "Temo" Juarez, have spent years and thousands of dollars fighting her deportation. They have reached out to their member of Congress, Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), with no luck. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has now offered to help.

In 2010 Vice President Pence, then a Congressman from Indiana, signed a bipartisan letter calling for protection of military spouses from deportation while they pursue legal immigration status. At that time, DHS head Janet Napolitano referenced a "parole in place" policy, which would cover the protection of military spouses.

That policy has been in place since 2007, but hasn’t been utilized consistently by authorities, as evidenced by Crawford’s and Juarez’s stories.

What do you think?

Do you think there should be a consistently applied policy protecting military spouses from deportation while they pursue legal status? Are you a military spouse who has confronted immigration issues? What has your experience been, and what do you think a consistent policy should look like?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Military Times)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(153)
  • Mica
    03/06/2018
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    How can your administration say you support out military then deport their spouses?

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  • Truly
    03/05/2018
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    The conservatives need to think about one thing: once all the non-white, non-straight, non-Christians are gone, who will the next enemy be? Stop trumping up issues to deport people. Or start at the top with anchor-baby trump and his wife and get chain migrant family.

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  • Abbe
    03/06/2018
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    Amazing that someone who NEVER served our country ( 5 deferments) could be so cruel and mean-spirited to those and the families of those that have served or are currently serving.

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  • James
    03/05/2018
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    I was in the Army for over seven years! There were guys married to Korean women, Philipino women, German Women and there were troops from foreign countries serving that brought their wives over from that particular country that they were from! They had to fill out a lot of Paper Work either the Department of the Army and... Dept of Immigration and Naturalization! And..... Social Security. And..... other government entities! Yes! It’s a Pain in the Ass! However you must seek the council of a JAG Officer “Military or Navy” Attorney! I knew a lot of guys with foreign wives! Also a good friend of mine serving was from India! He went home to marry but still had to fill a mountain of paperwork to get her here! Perhaps the people you mentioned tried to short cut the system or forgot something but the federal government works closely to help serving members to bring their spouses over! Get you facts straight and do you homework!

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  • Sheridan
    03/06/2018
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    They have gone to far. I am sick of the bull. It is ridiculous. I honestly think we should fire our commander-in-chief for bring our country to where it’s at. I honestly think he is making money off this. I think that it’s only helping trump out.

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  • Jennifer
    03/06/2018
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    This has nothing to do with hurting people of color! Shame on those suggesting that! As a previous military spouse, there are rules you must follow. For example I retain my privileges/benefits as an UnReMarried Former Spouse. There is one caveat, however; I may NEVER remarry or I forfeit all benefits. Would you like to be given that choice? A tough one for sure. But I followed the military rules, and that is something civilians, especially Dems and Libs have forgotten...breaking rules often have a consequence. Having said that, anyone that has met the definition/guidelines should be given protection, having served our country. Spouses serve in a different fashion. But they serve. DOD, let’s get squared away with helping those stuck in the middle; but only if they qualified and followed the rules.

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  • Kathleen
    03/06/2018
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    The issue of deportation of immigration needs to be really reviewed and see what is best for all involved. UNITED STATES has been developed and founded on immigrants. We have lots of undocumented immigrants because the Immigration process is expensive and challenging to weave your way through- as a US citizen it is very hard to understand how to fill out what forms for people who have come through my office in years past. I think all government officials should try to navigate this process.

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  • Shannon
    03/05/2018
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    Did you know that 60 percent of military members identify as Republicans? Most are Christians. Consider also that bad immigration policies are to blame for the illegal immigrant situation. Marriage to a citizen is supposed to make it easier to become one. Let's have some sane and consistent laws. Why is there no simple solution to legalizing oneself? Two words, "grandfather clause" - consider them when making new laws so we don't harm people who are trying to become a legal resident, who are already productive and otherwise law abiding members of society.

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  • Paolo
    03/06/2018
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    This cannot be allowed and, for the first time, I call for the army to put an end to this national disaster.

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  • Jill
    03/06/2018
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    Find a way to give the spouses a path to citizenship. It’s a no brainer! Just do it.

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  • Dave
    03/06/2018
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    As usual we are only getting part of the story. I’ve been in for decades & know literally dozens of foreign spouses. Mostly from the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Germany and Great Britain. Those soldiers are VERY aware of what it takes to marry a foreign national. If they haven’t followed the correct procedures or married a woman with a criminal history then they should be evaluated on a case by case basis. I’m much more concerned if the military spouse wasn’t aware of or hid their foreign spouses status.

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  • Countryfirst
    03/06/2018
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    DESPICABLE AND DEPLORABLE..THIS ADMINISTRATION IS RUINING THIS COUNTRY AND WE NEED TO STOP IT!

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  • John.Nutt
    03/06/2018
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    This is what happens when the left (and the right) keep people here for so long that aren’t supposed to be here. When it comes time to finally enforce the law. That little plant has become a big tree with big and deep roots that make it incredibly hard and controversial to remove.

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  • Dennis
    03/05/2018
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    If they break the law then they violated the right to stay here. It isn’t hard to stay out of trouble by any means. If they haven’t broken any laws and pay their own way then let them stay. As well as military spouses, that’s one of the hardest jobs in America.

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  • SneakyPete
    03/06/2018
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    If you're married to an American (particularly a soldier), your citizenship status is just fine as long as you are going through the process of gaining your citizenship. Lets be realistic though folks. We who have spent any length of time, have seen numerous cases of, marriages of convenience between couples, where the ultimate goal was to gain a ticket, to the states. Sad 😔 but true. Not all, but a good number, fall in to this category. 3*5*18. .

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  • CombatVeteran
    03/06/2018
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    I call bs on this one. If you're married to an American (particularly a soldier), your citizenship status is just fine.

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  • Dayzee
    03/06/2018
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    When the immigrants are gone, the gays are gone, the trans are gone, the women aren't allowed to serve, who's gonna be left to defend our country? That's right Mike & Buffy, little Jimmy. Your blonde blue eyed prince will have been selected in the reinstated draft. 👍 Good for you.

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  • Chuck
    03/06/2018
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    This is wrong on multiple levels. Trump said he was going to deport the worse of the worst instead he destroying families that have contributed to our nation in a positive way such as this soldier’s family! Please stop this. Thank you

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  • ManfromNebraska
    03/06/2018
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    This is not a race thing it is about following the law in regards to becoming a legal citizen. This is not a Republican or Democrat thing. The military makes it clear what they need to do to become legal citizens. They need to follow through by completing the paperwork and submit it. Don’t blame others for their failure to follow the law.

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  • Norm
    03/05/2018
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    Ola republicans, representatives, and President Trump, thank you for your service. Now it’s your turn to manup and do your part yet again to keep our veterans and active military wife’s home. Fast track the spouses to citizenship. Hey republicans did you know there’s other nationalities here illegally from Europe which makes you an alt-white, but not right?

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