Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Tuesday pledged to end the ban on transgender people from serving in the military “on the first day” if she wins the White House.
“I’ll reverse it on the first day of my presidency,” she said in the announcement, adding, “the only thing that should matter when it comes to allowing military personnel to serve is whether or not they can handle the job.”
Warren’s plan would provide “all medically necessary care related to the health of transgender people,” including surgical procedures related to transitioning. It would also provide a path to citizenship for foreign members of the U.S. military.
She said that her administration “will make it clear that we will protect veterans and family members of serving military personnel from deportation, and we will review the cases of those who have been deported for possible return to the United States.”
“The Trump administration has taken steps to withdraw deportation protections from military family members, including family of service members deployed in combat overseas,” the plan reads. “And under DoD’s current policies, immigrant troops are being denied citizenship at a rate higher than their civilian counterparts, and applications for naturalization as a result of military service dropped 72% between 2017 and 2018. This is a disgrace. It also undermines military readiness.”
The plan also aims to reduce the record-high numbers of suicides among military members and veterans, as well as the benefits claims backlog that the Department of Veterans Affairs currently faces. It would also provide more educational and career opportunities for the spouses of military members and veterans who are transitioning back to civilian life.