Brothers, Viet Nam Vets Facing Deportation, Speak at UCCS

The Deportation of our US Military Veterans continues and there is not enough of an uprising and outrage regarding this travesty of justice. As Americans we say we support our troops but what about when they come home? We just throw them away?

Brothers, Viet Nam Vets Facing Deportation, Speak at UCCS

Author: Tim Paynter
Published: March 22, 2011 at 7:12 am

Manuel and Valente Valenzuela signed an oath to protect the United State of America when they enlisted in the military. Shortly thereafter, they found themselves fighting for their lives and their country in Viet Nam. Both brothers saw the heat of combat, and Valente, the older brother, had some special duties, something he keeps close to his conscience to this day.

Many Valenzuela friends paid the ultimate price, leaving each brother grateful it was not his time to be called to a higher place while defending democracy in a rice paddy in Viet Nam. Unfortunately, the country that sent our youth to fight and likely die to defend the homeland lacks gratitude for those who answered the call of duty. The United States is in the process of deporting both Valenzuela brothers from it’s borders.

This is a disgraceful story which places yet another black mark on the record of civil rights and respect for dignity of a mighty country. Manuel and Valente Valenzuela were brought to the US by their citizen mother when they were young. They grew up as Americans and consider themselves citizens. They answered the call of duty. They have paid taxes and lived like any other American. Yet they are forced to fight the immigration system after fighting for their country in Southeast Asia.

On March 29th, 2001, Manuel and Valente Valenzuela will tell their story as featured guests at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, (UCCS) Colorado. The presentation will start at 3:00 p.m. at the University Center Building, Room 303.

The brothers will talk about how their deportation proceedings have affected their lives, on top of the post traumatic stress they suffered in Viet Nam. Manuel and Valente will also speak about other veterans who lost their battle to stay in the United States after fighting to defend this country. Few people are aware of the veterans who have been deported despite being considered citizens and required to serve in our armed forces.

The Valenzuela brothers are a prime example of a broken immigration system which panders to the cliché’s of “waiting in the back of the line”. Somewhere the system has failed to take into account veterans who served in combat duty, who offered their lives to protect democracy, and who are now forgotten by a country that pretends to laud freedom and human rights. If deported, the Valenzuela brothers can come back to the United States one final time. That will be to lay their bodies to rest in Arlington National Cemetery after they die in a foreign land. Until then, they will be personas non grata. The talk is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.