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Congressman Vicente Gonzalez

Representing the 15th District of Texas

Congressman Gonzalez Appears before Rules Committee to Push Deported Veterans Legislation

May 16, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) has released the following statement regarding the House Committee on Rules’ failure to make in order his amendment that would have added the congressman’s deported veterans bill, H.R. 3429, the Repatriate Our Patriots Act, to S. 2372, the VA MISSION Act of 2018: 

“Obstructing efforts to help honorably discharged veterans who have been unjustly deported is tantamount to disrespecting their service and sacrifice. Actions speak louder than words.

“My amendment was supported by Ranking Member Jim McGovern (MA-02) of the Rules Committee, who sought to motion it for a vote on the House Floor. I first introduced the Repatriate Our Patriots Act with original cosponsors, Congressmen Don Young (AK-At Large) and Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) in 2017. The bill has since been a symbol of the bipartisan support for honorably discharged veterans who were deported after their service. The legislation would create a pathway back to citizenship and reinstitute VA benefits for servicemembers who faced deportation and held a clean record prior to their service.

“Last week, I was joined by Congresswoman Nanette Barragan (CA-44), and Congressmen Mark Takano (CA-41), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Lou Correa (CA-46), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Darren Soto (FL-09), and Juan Vargas (CA-51) for a forum to address the issue of deported veterans. No Republicans were in attendance, despite two formerly deported veterans, a representative from the ACLU, and two Veteran Service Organizations testifying.

“President Donald J. Trump, along with other members from across the aisle, have also voiced support for this cause and it was my hope that this amendment would bring further attention and action.

“I will accept Chairman David Roe’s (TN-01) pledge to take this matter up in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and will work towards marking this bill up in the near future. Despite my disappointment with the decision of the Rules Committee, I am not giving up on our nation’s heroes.”

Click the image below to watch Congressman Gonzalez’s testimony before the Rules Committee on Tuesday evening.