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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Denial of Legal Status to Veterans

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the refusal of Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to allow a motion to vote on a proposal which would allow Americans without legal status who have served in the armed forces to become legal permanent residents of the United States.

The proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which has support from both Democrats and Republicans, would have allowed young men and women who had entered the United States as children to apply for legal status in the United States on the completion of their military service.

“When these men and women were in Iraq or Afghanistan on the field of battle, or defending our coastline, or providing relief services to the victims of a natural disaster, we didn’t ask ‘Are you really an American?’ In light of their demonstrated sacrifice on behalf of the American People and the nation that they love, the question would have been absurd. The question remains absurd. These women and men are American in mind, body and soul. Many have already made the ultimate sacrifice for these United States. They are Americans who have lived here since their childhood and who have served in the armed forces to defend the freedoms we share and enjoy due to their valor,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “I am deeply disappointed that the republican led Congress have not seen fit been to honor their sacrifices on behalf of what I know is a grateful nation. I believe that the Congress should have at least been given an opportunity to consider this long-standing issue of undocumented Patriots.  I urge my colleagues to insist on the inclusion of this bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act in the conference committee.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.




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