October 27, 2020

Duckworth Celebrates U.S. Citizenship for Deported U.S. Veteran Roman Sabal

Senator has been advocating for Sabal since he was denied entry into the country to attend his own citizenship interview in 2019


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today celebrated deported U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Roman Sabal finally being granted his citizenship. Sabal—who served for six years and received an honorable discharge after attaining the rank of sergeant—had been tied up in the naturalization process for more than two decades, including being deported in 2008 and refused entry to attend his own citizenship interview by the Trump Administration last year.

“Roman Sabal was willing to put on the uniform to protect our nation and what happened to him was a disgrace. While he never should have been deported in the first place, much less denied entry to complete his naturalization process by the Trump Administration, I’m so proud to finally be able to call him a fellow American.”

Last year, Duckworth began advocating on behalf of Sabal after he was denied advance parole back into the country, causing him to miss his prearranged citizenship interview. Duckworth wrote to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging immediate action to establish clear policies that allow deported Veterans to attend their citizenship interviews.

Duckworth has also introduced legislation to help deported Veterans gain citizenship by ensuring that deported Veterans who have successfully completed the preliminary naturalization process, like Roman Sabal, can attend their citizenship interview at a port of entry, embassy or consulate without navigating the complex process of advance parole. She also re-introduced three bills last year to protect and support Veterans and servicemembers. Her proposals—the Veterans Visa and Protection Act, HOPE Act and I-VETS Act—would prohibit the deportation of Veterans who are not violent offenders, give legal permanent residents a path to citizenship through military service and strengthen VA healthcare services for Veterans.