THE“BUNKER”: DEPORTED US VETERANS SUPPORT HOUSE LOCATED IN TIJUANA , MEXICO
Why Are We Needed?
Since 1996, the United States Government has been deporting veterans who, as legal permanent residents, joined the United States Armed Forces and served their country proudly. Veterans who have been deported served in wars such as Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Iraq & Afghanistan, and served in both combat and peacetime. The deported veterans support house has come into contact with over 100 veterans who have been deported or being deported to over 30 countries of origin around the world. All of these veterans had legal residency status, Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits as well as strong ties to the United States prior to deportation. All of the veterans whom we have met maintain a strong desire to return to the United States, as many have hardly known any other home throughout their lives and have been forced to leave behind children, spouses, parents, and siblings as well as firmly established lives and communities in the United States.
The mission of the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana is to support deported veterans staying at the “Bunker” on their path to self-sufficiency by providing assistance in the realms of food, clothing, and shelter as they adjust to life in their new country of residence. Ultimately, we hope to see an end to the need of our services as we advocate for political legislation which would prohibit the deportation of United States Veterans , both former and current. We advocate for Veterans & their families.
What We do
The Deported Veterans Support house operates under the direction of founder Hector Barajas who served with the 82nd airborne and was deported in 2004. The house operates as a shelter and resource center for veterans who need assistance, as well as office for our political advocacy efforts in the realm of immigration reform. DVSH also raises awareness about the deported veteran cause through social media, public outreach, and community events.
The Deported Veterans Support House (DVSH) knows that when someone is deported, that person faces immense fears and numerous obstacles in adjusting to the life that was thrust upon them. This relates to circumstances such as separation from family, disorientation, feelings of abandonment and lack of hope. Many turn to self-medicating to alleviate the feelings of emotional turmoil that they face. The Deported Veterans Support House staff works diligently to ensure that DVSH is a place of security and a place of new beginnings. The DVSH can provide for immediate needs such as temporary safe shelter, clothing items, food and assistance getting on solid footing; DVSH can also help the Deported Veteran obtain local identification, which is of the utmost importance for effective residency in Mexico. Many deported Veterans need legal assistance with their various immigration cases which most hope to appeal, as well as psychological counseling and file for VA benefits. We seek the help of trained professionals in Mexico and the United States to help with these long term needs. DVSH understands the need to maintain contact with family in the United States and helps Deported Veterans establish solid methods of communication through phone and/or internet. Additionally, If a deported Veteran is suffering through afflictions and dependency issues, or expresses a desire for spiritual support,we can help connect the person with appropriate resources in the area. Ultimately, we aspire to provide hope, to build confidence, and foster independence among the deported veteran population in Tijuana. DVSH has an open door policy. Anyone at any time is welcome and encouraged to visit us, stay with us, learn with us and grow with us, including volunteers or interested visitors.