When we think of those people who are deported from the U.S., we often have images of undocumented Latinx folks from Mexico and Central America. In reality, many Black people are among those who are deported, and some of them have served in the U.S. military.

Yes, if you can believe it. Hundreds if not thousands of military veterans who are not American citizens have been deported after serving this country. This includes Black people who were enlisted servicemembers and were promised citizenship. And they were later sent to the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and elsewhere after living in America for years and risking their own lives in the military. They want to return. And why shouldn’t they?

One of those is deported David Bariu. Bariu was in the country with an F-1 student visa and, not unlike others, was promised a path to citizenship, education and the GI Bill. But ICE picked him up during a naturalization interview, and a Black man who fought for America was thrown out of the country.

I served in the US Army active duty from 1999 to 2001. Also served in the USAFR from 2002 to 2007. Honorably discharged. I was detained by ICE from 2007 to 2008 before deportation to Kenya, East Africa. POTUS Joe Biden government recently promised to repatriate deported US Veterans. Some of the Veterans have gone back but none from Africa,” Bariu said.

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Bariu has applied for citizenship, but says the process is long. Meanwhile, the Army recruiter who lured Bariu with deceptively false promises was court-martialed.

There are no official records of the number of Black deported veterans. However, there are names such as Rudi Richardson in London, Jeff Brown and Charlie Brown in Jamaica and others. “Others reside in Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Haiti. In Africa some are in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Tanzania,” Bariu said. “And the stories go on. We need to be heard and brought back home.”

The situation facing deported veterans reflects a larger legacy of racial discrimination and injustice against Black veterans and other veterans of color. “How this country treats Black and Brown veterans. I’ve never met a White deported veteran,” said Amos Gregory, co-founder of The San Francisco Veterans Mural Project, also known as Veterans Alley, a community based mural project located in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Gregory has been advocating for the return of Black deported veterans, who have not received the same attention as Latinx veterans.

When you look at the statistics for unhoused veterans, 40 percent are black. When you look at the GI bills, the VA loans and predatory banks not lending to Black people, and Black families could’ve been living in those houses for generations, but they didn’t get it because of the banks,” Gregory added.

Since the very earliest days, Black people have fought for an America that never fought for them, and the country will use them and spit them out. After serving the empire and serving their purpose for Uncle Sam, these Black vets are cast aside. We must bring them back.

David A. Love, JD - Serves

BlackCommentator.com as Executive

Editor. He is a journalist, commentator,

human rights advocate, a Professor at

the Rutgers University School of

Communication and Information based in

Philadelphia, a contributor to Four

Hundred Souls: A Community History of

African America, 1619-2019, The

Washington Post, theGrio,

AtlantaBlackStar, The Progressive,

CNN.com, Morpheus, NewsWorks and

The Huffington Post. He also blogs at

davidalove.com. Contact Mr. Love and