Photo of Jonathan Contreras

Jonathan Contreras

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
  • Sponsored by Covington & Burling LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school Stanford Law School
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Jonathan (Jon) (he/him/his) will advocate for the repatriation of deported veterans through direct representation, policy reform, and coalition building.

For over 200 years, the United States has promised immigrant service members an expedited path to citizenship in exchange for their sacrifices. Yet for decades, the U.S. has failed to provide these service members with the citizenship they are due. As a result, hundreds of veterans were left subject to deportation and banished forever from their families and the country they fought to protect. Deported veterans are owed the opportunity to return home and reform that ensures service members can naturalize and no veterans are deported moving forward.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Jon will represent individual veterans’ repatriation claims to vacate their deportation orders and reinstate their legal residency. Through this, he will push for legal reform at the state and federal levels to increase access to repatriation for other deported veterans. In addition, he will help build a coalition of veterans’ and immigrants’ rights activists, legal service providers, and deported veterans themselves. This coalition will support the needs of deported veterans up to and after their repatriation. Additionally, Jonathan will work with this coalition to push the DHS to adopt policies that prevent future veteran deportations and ensure that immigrant service members can naturalize.

As the child of Mexican immigrants, I am proud to stand with this community. Deported veterans fought for this country and for their right to repatriate—we owe it to them to finally bring them home.

Jonathan Contreras /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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