Veterans Highlight Importance of Immigration Reform to the Military

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As we honor our nation’s veterans today, Vets4Reform is highlighting the many immigrants, past and present, who have served our country.

Throughout our history, immigrants have stood on the front lines to defend the U.S., and they are key to ensuring military force readiness. But as these servicemen and women prepare to give their lives to protect our country, our broken immigration system causes some to be separated from their families or even deported.

Today, while our nation honors their bravery and sacrifice, veterans are highlighting their support for a better immigration process that benefits our military, our veterans and our country:

Gilbert Cardenas, Sergeant, U.S. Army:
“As a first generation American, I am proud of my service to my country in the U.S. Army. At home and overseas, I had the honor to serve alongside a diverse group of individuals that reflect the diversity of our country. Immigrants are critical to that diversity and in fact make us stronger as a military and a nation.  It is critical that our elected leaders put their heads together to fix our broken immigration system.  For veterans, military family members and aspiring soldiers we need to get this done. ”

Jim Gill, U.S. Army Veteran:
“As a veteran my mind goes many places on this day every year. I think of those with whom I served, both native born Americans and those who chose to serve their adopted nation. I think of those who have come before, and those that will bear the burden of defending our nation in to the future. Immigrants have always been, and will continue to be, a critical part of our defense. I, and every American, honors their service on this meaningful day.”

Brett Hunt, U.S. Army Veteran from Arizona and National Veterans Coordinator for Veterans for Immigration Reform:
“Immigrants have always played a critical role in defending our nation, from our earliest days on Lexington Green to the mountains of Afghanistan. Immigrants make our military stronger, they make our country stronger. Our military is missing out on talented and motivated individuals. Our immigrant soldiers and veterans deserve better than our broken immigration system.”

David Lucier, Arizona Veterans Military Leadership Alliance, U.S. Army Veteran:
“This is the day America honors all U.S. military veterans. Whether those veterans were born within our borders or elsewhere, we have dedicated November 11th to honor their service, their courage and their sacrifices. We are a great nation, and a land of opportunity, and as such, the best, brightest and hardest working people from around the world want to come to our shores. Many choose to pay it forward and serve in the armed forces. Today I honor all veterans who have chosen to serve this nation.”

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Veterans for Immigration Reform (Vets4Reform) is a project of the National Immigration Forum and the National Immigration Forum Action Fund.