U.S. Army Spec. Yea Ji Sea is a medic at the Brooke Army Medical Center located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Her commander told her that her time with the military had come to a close. At only twenty-nine years old, Sea was being honorably discharged due to her immigration status.
Sea was born in South Korea in 1989. In 1998, at the age of 9, Sea and her parents came to the United States on a visitor’s visa.
She joined the army almost five years ago and had planned on being a part of the program that allows active-duty service members to obtain citizenship.
At first, she said, “I wasn’t so worried…I thought I really had [the military’s] support when they said that. I thought it was going to be somehow okay, that they wouldn’t kick me out because it’s just not right, and it’s legally wrong. I believed them because I was stupid.”
After she was discharged, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) filed a lawsuit on her behalf. The complaint says that USCIS has failed to adjudicate her naturalization application, one she thoroughly deserves.
According to ACLU of Southern California staff attorney, Sameer Ahmed, “They’re trying to discharge her now, and it’s part of a larger anti-immigration scheme of the Trump administration.”
Sea is in a horrible position now. Once her honorable discharge took effect, she became unable to work and has no valid immigration status, so she could be deported.
Sea says, “My biggest fear right now is my commander calling ICE..I’ve been unofficially warned that ICE might come to pick me up. After 41/2 years, once I get my discharge papers, my reality is ICE might come pick me up.”
How is it that the ones who risk their lives every day to protect us cannot be protected from ICE?
Put simply, this is injustice.
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