Summer Research Check In – Week 7

I finally finished the database, which holds the names of veterans from the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project, that I have been working on since the beginning of the summer. I am continuing to look for sources talks about Filipinos, known as Manilamen, who may have served along Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans. Professor Sohoni is writing a book on his research and I am helping him find case studies, by using the database I created, to incorporate into his book.

I am working more on my research which will focus on deported veterans. I have been collecting articles throughout the entire summer and have finally been able to narrow down my topic to foreign-born veterans who have committed crimes and are being deported. Some have had issues with proper treatment for their mental illnesses and I want to look at how the lack of psychological treatment may have caused veterans to commit crimes. This has lead me to questions whether the implementation of proper mental health treatment could have prevented soldiers from committing their crimes. Deportation is a severe punishment for individuals who served the United States which is why I am interested in learning more about these veterans. In some of the articles I have found, soldiers have been discouraged from seeking psychological treatment and are expected to be tough and not deal with their mental illness.

Craig Shagin practices immigration law and wrote Deporting Private Ryan: The Less Than Honorable Condition of the Noncitizen in the United States Armed Forces. In his article “Deporting Our Troops” he states that, once the oath is taken, “the government does not distinguish between its native born service members and its lawful permanent or ‘green card’ service members” (2013: 47). I am interested in the fact that veterans are being deported because soldiers take an oath to protect the U.S., not the home country they are being sent back to. They served the U.S. and have the opportunity of becoming naturalized citizens and yet their loyalty is treated as “temporary matter of national convenience” (Shagin 2013: 47). I want to explore how service, legal status, and mental health play a role in the deportation of veterans.

Comments

  1. Wow, Yosselin! The area of focus that you chose for your research is fascinating, especially considering that there likely is not a plethora of research on this unique topic. I also think it’s interesting how interdisciplinary your research is, as it incorporates sociology and psychology. It’s also disheartening to think about the fact that soldiers who sacrificed their own lives to protect our country, yet they are treated as only a “temporary convenience,” and later deported to their country of origin.