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They served their country. Now they can’t live in it

BY   September 10, 2015 at 3:26 PM EST
U.S. Army veteran Hector Lopez participates in a protest by deported military personnel at the U.S.- Mexico border in March 2014 in Tijuana, Mexico.  Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

U.S. Army veteran Hector Lopez participates in a protest by deported military personnel at the U.S.- Mexico border in March 2014 in Tijuana, Mexico. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Non-citizens have fought in the U.S. armed forces since the Revolutionary War.

Some 65,000 green card holders now serve in the military, according to the Pentagon. Some of the men who serve never became full citizens, instead remaining legal permanent residents or another designation that allows them to live in the U.S. legally.

And some of these military personnel have been deported after committing crimes like writing bad checks, petty drug offenses or driving under the influence.

The Department of Homeland Security, which handles and tracks deportations, doesn’t count how many veterans have been deported, but experts who study the issue say the number is in the thousands and that veterans have been deported to more than 25 different countries.

We cover the issue for this week’s Shortwave with P.J. Tobia podcast.

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