Deported U.S. Army veteran Hector Barajas looks out the front door of the Deported Veterans Support House, also known as "The Bunker," on July 3, 2017 in Tijuana, Mexico. Barajas, a legal U.S. resident who served more than five years in the military and was honorably discharged, founded and now runs the House. In addition to providing food, shelter, and clothing for deported veterans, he advocates for political legislation that would prohibit future deportations of veterans.
There are an estimated 11,000 non-citizens serving in the U.S. military, and most will be naturalized during or following their service. Those who leave the military early or who are convicted of a crime after serving can be deported. Veterans who serve the military as green card holders, not citizens, can be deported after committing certain crimes – including some minor offenses such as possession of marijuana and some more serious crimes such as murder and rape.