Lawsuit Challenges Biden On ‘Deported Veterans’ Amnesty Program

The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) is taking a stand against the Biden Administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its secretive policy concerning the return of illegal aliens who were previously deported. Having served in the U.S. Armed Forces, these individuals are now allowed back into the United States despite being removed for committing crimes.

In July 2021, the Biden Administration announced its policy to return certain illegal aliens who served in the military despite their criminal records leading to deportation. IRLI, advocating for transparent government practices, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in April 2023, seeking details on this policy. The request specifically asked for documentation and procedures related to the initiative that identifies and returns previously deported non-citizen veterans.

The lawsuit, titled Federation for American Immigration Reform v. DHS, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, reveals a concerning lack of response from the DHS. IRLI alleges that after acknowledging the FOIA request in April, the DHS has failed to provide any further determination or information.

This move by the Biden Administration to provide what IRLI Executive Director Dale Wilcox calls a “special amnesty” by executive fiat raises questions about the application of U.S. immigration law. Federal law generally mandates the removal of aliens with significant felony convictions, including certain misdemeanors. The administration’s policy creates a pathway back into the U.S. for these individuals, potentially circumventing the law.

IRLI Director of Investigations Matt O’Brien raised a critical point in a statement, questioning why DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services believe it’s appropriate to grant special treatment to foreign criminals merely because they served in the military. This policy seems to exploit the American people’s support for military veterans, allowing potentially dangerous individuals to remain in the country.

Furthermore, some provisions of federal law provide a pathway to citizenship for those who serve in the military. However, this pathway is typically not utilized by the individuals affected by the Biden Administration’s program. Over 158,000 military members have been naturalized as U.S. citizens since 2002 without committing crimes that would prevent their naturalization or result in deportation.

The lawsuit by IRLI is a testament to the need for transparency and accountability in government, especially regarding policies that directly impact the safety and well-being of American citizens. The Biden Administration’s policy, if not correctly scrutinized and challenged, could set a precedent that undermines the very laws designed to protect the United States and its citizens from potential harm.

The actions of the IRLI are commendable, as they strive to uncover the truth behind this policy and ensure that the American people are fully informed about the administration’s actions. The lawsuit serves as a reminder that the executive branch should uphold and enforce the law, not create programs that could potentially evade and undermine it. The IRLI, through its legal action, supports the principles of a transparent and accountable government that acts in the best interest of its citizens.