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January 29, 2018

Rep. Barragán To Attend State Of The Union With Previously Deported Veteran As Guest


January 29, 2018
Contact: Michael Soneff
(202) 578-0167

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán will attend President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday with Marco Chavez, a previously deported Marine Corps veteran, as her guest.

Statement from Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán:

“I invited Marco to shine a light on the injustices faced by undocumented veterans. Marco chose to serve our country in the armed forces, and then was deported and separated from his family for 16 years. Marco was pardoned and able to return to the United States, and I am proud to have him as a constituent today.

Marco’s story is tragic but his resilience is an inspiration. If an undocumented person enlists in the U.S. armed forces and is killed in combat, they are posthumously granted citizenship. If they survive, they could be deported. Soldiers shouldn’t have to come home in a body bag to become citizens. We cannot continue to treat our undocumented veterans this way.

There are also DREAMers serving in our military today that should not have to be afraid of deportation on their return. Trump’s policies and rhetoric reflect fear and hatred of undocumented people and their families. The administration’s latest proposals to build a wasteful $20 billion wall and end family reunification are a continuation of an anti-immigrant agenda. I will continue to stand up for DREAMers, documented and undocumented veterans, and the American Dream for all.”

About Marco Chavez

 Born in Mexico, Chavez was brought to California as an infant. He served in the Marine Corps as a lawful permanent resident before being deported on the basis of a single criminal offense in 2002. After Gov. Brown granted him a full and unconditional pardon for that offense, the courts agreed that Chavez’s pardon entitled him to return to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Chavez is now a resident of California’s 44th Congressional District.

 More information about Marco Chavez can be found here:

Mr. Chavez and Congresswoman Barragán will be attending the State of the Union on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. The State of the Union speech will begin at 9 PM ET.

The Veterans’ Pathway to Citizenship Act, H.R. 3563

Introduced by Rep. Barragán, the bill will make it easier for deported vets to return to the United States and ensures that active duty service members don’t leave the military without understanding their options for naturalization.

Many foreign-born residents assume that joining the military means they automatically earned citizenship.  But, actually, they must still go through the naturalization process, something many are not aware of because they are not adequately informed.

The Veterans’ Pathway to Citizenship Act solves these problems by (1) granting lawful permanent resident status to any current or former member of the Armed Forces, upon application for naturalization; (2) requiring notice of naturalization options to military recruits; and (3) requiring that applications for naturalization be automatically submitted by the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of eligible military service members.

For availability, questions or scheduling, please call (202) 578-0167.


Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.