To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Stop Deporting Military Spouses
Please pass the Protect Patriot Spouses Act (H.R. 557) to protect the spouses of active-duty servicemembers and veterans.
Why is this important?
Over the last two decades, hundreds of thousands of American men and women have risked their lives serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the most part, they have done so secure in the knowledge that if they are killed, their country will provide for their families. For those whose spouses are undocumented immigrants, however, this is an obligation our government has not met. Last year, Univision reported that nearly 12,000 military spouses were in deportation proceedings. Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced plans to remove protections for the spouses of servicemen and women currently deployed.
Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Juarez served in combat as a Marine in Iraq from 2003 to 2005. While he was deployed overseas, his wife Alejandra cared for their infant daughter Pamela, now a high school senior. They later had another daughter Estela, now ten years old. Temo and both children are US citizens, but Alejandra, an undocumented immigrant, was deported to Mexico in 2018 despite having no criminal record. Estela, too young to be left alone while Temo is working, also moved to Mexico with Alejandra.
Cindy Furman served in the Air Force in Iraq. She met her future husband Demetry, who was serving in the Canadian military, while he trained with US forces. He held US security clearances and later served in Afghanistan as part of the US-led coalition. In 2018, he was arrested in Ohio and later deported. His crime? A minor drug conviction in Canada in 1992, for which he served 28 days of community service and paid a fine. He was pardoned in 2002, but is still ineligible for a visa as a result. He now lives in Ontario. Cindy, suffering from health problems, remained in Ohio to be near her adult children, and is unable to travel to visit her husband.
Alejandra and Demetry are two of the many military spouses who have been deported, tearing apart the families of those who have served this country. The Protect Patriot Spouses Act, introduced by Congressman Darren Soto of Florida, would allow many of these spouses to pursue legal permanent residency, an opportunity they do not have under current immigration law.