Congressional Action Now Will Make Our Country Stronger
TEMPE, Ariz. — On Wednesday, Arizona veterans met to discuss the need for immigration reform now from a military and veteran perspective.
The discussion, “Veterans and Immigration: Insights and Issues,” underscored the vital role that immigrants play in our military while leaders in the veteran community called for an American immigration process that values freedom and hard work and honors our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
This is the inaugural event for Veterans for Immigration Reform initiative was hosted by the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network (BBB), Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) and Arizona State University. Future events are planned in Illinois, Colorado, South Carolina and Washington, D.C.
The following are quotes from participants in Wednesday’s event:
Brett Hunt, U.S. Army Veteran; National Veterans Coordinator, Veterans for Immigration Reform:
“Immigrants soldiers have come to our country, not to do damage, but to defend our nation. This diversity makes our military and our nation stronger. Almost 33,000 non-citizens are serving in the military today; they have chosen to volunteer for the military despite the fact that they were born under a foreign flag. They are part of a grand legacy of immigrants who have come to our shores and deployed around the world in our defense. Our immigrant soldiers deserve better than our current broken immigration system. This is urgent.”
Dr. Rob Page, U.S. Army Veteran; Arizona State University Provost:
“As a university, we lead change. We are a platform for discussion and debate and education. ASU is the ideal place to initiate a discussion like this. Veterans are key to the future of this university. Immigrants are key to the future of our university. We are committed to engaging on the issue of immigration reform.”
Israel Torres, U.S. Army Veteran:
“I am proud to have served in the 82nd Airborne. It is part of my identity and who I am. The military gave me everything that I wanted to become. I learned to seek justice through service. I need to be the voice for those who cannot represent themselves, and that is why I am stepping forward as a veteran to advocate for immigration reform.”
Tomas Robles, U.S. Marine Corps:
“Our country was formed by immigrants, our military is made stronger by immigrants. DREAMERS want to serve in the military so they can enjoy the honor and pride of defending our nation. We need true positive dialogue and I am excited that we have engaged together on this here at Arizona State University.”
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