UC Berkeley School of Law in University of California

UC Berkeley Law’s Veterans Practicum Unveils Report Highlighting Crisis of Deported Veterans

In a groundbreaking report released by UC Berkeley Law School’s Veterans Law Practicum (VLP), the dire situation of deported veterans is brought to light, showcasing a distressing scenario where immigrant veterans are exiled and denied crucial healthcare benefits.

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Shedding Light on Injustice

The VLP undertakes an exhaustive examination into the intersection of veterans’ rights and social justice issues. Led by Rose Carmen Goldberg, the report uncovers the stark reality that veterans who served the U.S. military face deportation and are subsequently denied access to the benefits they deserve. Goldberg remarks, “Veterans, who served in the U.S. military, can be deported. After being deported, veterans have a more difficult time accessing the health and service benefits they’re entitled to.”

The Harsh Reality Across Borders

Highlighting the plight of deported veterans in Tijuana and the proximity of VA healthcare services in San Diego, Goldberg draws attention to the bitter irony of their situation. She states, “There are a lot of deported veterans in Tijuana, and there’s a big VA hospital in San Diego right across the border. Someone they served with (could have done) the exact same thing in service and they’re in San Diego, and they can get that care, and they’re just a short hop away across the border and many (deported veterans) have passed away.”

Broken Promises and Unfulfilled Citizenship

The report critically addresses the false promises made to immigrant servicemen and women, suggesting a systemic failure to provide promised citizenship. Goldberg sheds light on this deception, noting, “Recruiters, to put it bluntly, lie to people. There’s a whole cohort of U.S. immigration veterans who served, and they don’t know that they are not a citizen after they leave service.”

A Movement for Recognition and Reform

Through private interviews and meticulous research, the VLP highlights the legal and systemic barriers preventing deported veterans from achieving citizenship and accessing healthcare. The initiative is portrayed as part of a broader, veteran-led push for justice and reform.

Advocacy for Legislative Change and Awareness

Goldberg emphasizes the dual objectives of the report: raising awareness among the American public and the federal government. “There’s a huge swath of the American public that doesn’t know this is happening — that in itself is a barrier,” she states, highlighting the need for comprehensive policy changes.

Voices of the Forgotten Heroes

Nicole Leon-Elvir, a law student and report contributor, shares her motivation for joining the study, hoping to amplify the voices of those affected. “A lot of (veterans) just really want somebody to talk to or to be heard and to recognize their service. They’ve been deprived of their benefits in a lot of ways and they don’t have that recognition,” Leon-Elvir expresses, emphasizing the human aspect of this crisis.

This report from the Veterans Law Practicum is more than an academic document; it’s a powerful call to action, aiming to rectify the grave injustices faced by deported veterans and to realign the nation’s moral compass in honoring all who have served.


What is the deported veterans crisis?

The deported veterans crisis involves immigrant veterans being deported from the U.S. and losing access to healthcare benefits despite their military service. The UC Berkeley Law School’s Veterans Law Practicum report exposes these issues and the systemic failures causing them.

Who conducted the research on the deported veterans crisis?

The research was conducted by the Veterans Law Practicum at UC Berkeley Law School, led by lecturer Rose Carmen Goldberg and supported by 10 student contributors, focusing on veterans’ rights and social justice.

Why are some veterans being deported?

Some veterans are deported due to minor legal issues. Many do not achieve U.S. citizenship post-service and face deportation for certain crimes. The report highlights misleading recruitment practices and the lack of awareness among veterans about their citizenship status.

What are the main findings of the VLP’s report on deported veterans?

The report reveals that deported veterans struggle to access healthcare and benefits. It discusses deceptive recruitment, the legal and citizenship challenges veterans face post-service, and the systemic barriers within the criminal justice system.

What actions does the report recommend to address the deported veterans crisis?

The report recommends raising awareness about the crisis, expanding the VA Foreign Medical Program, and passing the Veteran Services Recognition Act to support deported veterans. It emphasizes the need for dialogue and recognition of veterans’ services.

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One Comment

  1. I’m an American citizen with veterans benefits and I wish to Jesus Christ and Buddha that they would deport me to Europe. At least there I could get healthcare for cheaper and not have to deal with American politics or VHA. Just the existence of VHA makes me want to commit suicide. I can’t even think about the place without feeling the urge to pull [deleted].

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