Immigrants Serve U.S. Abroad, Fight For Citizenship At Home

Written by on May 22, 2009 in Integration, Legislation, Reform with 7 Comments

Photo by angela n.

From the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, immigrants have voluntarily served in all branches of the U.S. military from the beginnings of America. Without the contributions of immigrants, the military could not meet its recruiting goals and could not fill the need for foreign-language translators, interpreters, and cultural experts. Since 2001, 47,500 service members have naturalized and become U.S. Citizens in ceremonies around the world from Afghanistan, to Iraq to South Korea and even on board Navy flagships at sea.

But despite their honorable service and dedication to America, the U.S. government is still falling short on honoring the service of these young immigrant men and women. Attorney & Lieutenant Colonel in Military Police, Margaret D. Stock, testified before Congress in May of 2008:

“Currently, many military members fighting overseas find that they must also fight their own government at home, as that government creates bureaucratic obstacles that impede military readiness by preventing family members from accessing immigration benefits, refuses to allow family members into the United States altogether, or even seeks to deport military personnel or their family members.”

According to the Migration Policy Institute download dragonball evolution HD , there are approximately 68,711 foreign born serving in the U.S. armed forces representing 5 percent of the total on active duty. Approximately 8 percent of men and women in the navy are foreign born and over 10 percent of those serving in the armed forces are of Hispanic origin. The top two countries of origin for foreign-born military personnel are the Philippines and Mexico and approximately half of the foreign born serving in the armed forces are naturalized citizens.

Immigrants are also part of grimmer statistics. According to the Associated Press:

Sgt. Christian Bueno-Galdos, a U.S. soldier born in Peru was killed on May 11, 2009 in Iraq. Officials say the 25-year-old Peruvian native was killed by a fellow soldier at a stress clinic in Iraq. Since September 2001 the Defense Department says about 150 immigrants have been killed while serving. Bueno-Galdos’ family say he loved the Army and felt patriotic toward his adopted homeland which he immigrated with his family as a seven-year-old. He joined the Army out of high school and will be buried tomorrow with full military honors.

This Memorial Day, America will remember all the brave men and women who gave their lives for this country—including immigrant soldiers. From deportation of family members to navigating the complex immigration system from far-away lands, fixing our broken immigration would go a long way in proving due and fair justice to our immigrant soldiers and honoring the sacrifices they have made to keep our nation safe and free.divx wanted



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  • my personal comments is the Immigration Department is very bad in terms of their policy towards immigration and i am sure it is high time for Obama Administration to correct the BROKEN U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY under the past Bush Administration which is worst and worst with that administration. secondly, you see under the family based approved immigrant visa (all categories) IT TAKES MANY, MANY, MANY YEARS BEFORE VISA BECOMES AVAILABLE. what a worst and broken immigration policy is this? it is an anti-human policy! if the present administration has the power to legalized all currently illegal aliens now in the U.S. i think the obama administration has also the power to lift the visa limitations to all legally approved (pending) family based immigrant visa.

  • Nadia Serhani

    US Citizenship should be granted automatically to immigrants serving on the US forces, in times of wars and mainly granted to their families if the serving immigrant is killed during the deployment/training while serving his newly adpoted country: The USA.
    Mourning families of killed immigrant soldiers find themselves torn between deportation and a magnificiently complicated military and immigration bureaucracy leaving no room for hope. Only few and brave family members willing to invest time and money are able succesfully claim and honor the promises of US citizenship promised by the US Military and the USCIS.

    Aren’t the serving immigrants worthy of being honored as much as the US-born and naturalized ones?

  • I wrote about this very same issue last week. Good post.

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  • leod

    Every immigrant that serves this country(USA), should be granted citizenship. On the other hand it does not mean that everyone else should be granted the same.

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  • these US servicemen deserve immigration benefits for the kind of situations they deal on a daily basis.

    nice post, keep it coming..