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Arizona congressman to meet with deported veterans in Mexico

(Facebook and AP photos)

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman will make a trip south of the border this week to meet with veterans who were deported to Mexico.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will be joined by six other members of Congress on his Saturday trip to the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana.

The Mexican city is near the California-Mexico border, a few miles south of San Diego.

Grijalva recently reintroduced House Resolution 1405, also known as the Veterans Visa and Protections Act. The bill would create a visa program that allows veterans who meet certain standards to become lawful permanent residents.

The bill defined those eligible for the program as:

An “eligible” veteran is a veteran who: (1) was not ordered removed, or removed, from the United States due to a criminal conviction for a crime of violence or for a crime that endangers U.S. national security for which the noncitizen served at least five years’ imprisonment; and (2) is not inadmissible to, or deportable from, the United States due to such a conviction.

DHS may waive such eligibility requirements for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, due to exceptional service in the U.S. Armed Forces, or if such waiver otherwise is in the public interest.

The veterans would also be eligible for the naturalization process for military members and receive veteran benefits.

HR 1405 would also cease the deportation of those eligible for the program.