Recent Blog Entries
- Simply Grateful
- Putting a Human Face on Immigration: 230 People Travel to Capitol Hill to Participate in CLINIC’s Advocacy Day
- New Americans Campaign comes together for Citizenship Drive in Los Angeles
- Ushering in a New Season for CLINIC and our 11 Million Undocumented Neighbors
- Living in God's Image, Embracing the Immigrant
- Lent: A Reform of the Heart
- Immigration Policy and New Estimates of the U.S. Unauthorized Population
- A Lenten Call to Embrace Acts of Charity
- CLINIC Holds Unique, “Mega” Workshop Training Event in Los Angeles
- Do Immigration Laws Deny Religious Freedom?
Immigrants and Veterans Day - A Special Thank You
By: Allison Posner*
With close to 1.5 million individuals currently in active service, the United States has the second largest military in the world. Thousands of the individuals – nearly 8% – who serve and protect our country every day were not born in it. Immigrants have a strong and proud tradition of military service to the United States. As of June 30, 2009, there were 114,601 foreign-born individuals serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Eighty-one percent of these are naturalized U.S. citizens and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this week that in fiscal year 2010, it added the greatest number of military naturalizations the U.S. has seen in over five decades. Between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010, USCIS granted citizenship to 11,146 members of the U.S. armed forces. The ceremonies took places all across the United States as well as in 22 countries where service men and women are stationed. This is the highest number of naturalizations since 1955 and a six percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
Photo Credit - usmilitary.com
Since September 2001, USCIS has naturalized nearly 65,000 service men and women, including those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Many of our service members have risked their lives across the globe before becoming citizens here at home. Their brave acts, and those of more than 65,000 service members who have become citizens since 2001, demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to America,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “We are enriched by their decision to serve our nation and to join us as United States citizens.”
As advocates who continue to push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and immigrant rights, we remember that it is the members of our military who are protecting our right to do so and the rights of all individuals in this country – not just those who were born here. The diversity of the armed forces is a testament to the way that newcomers and native-born alike come together to protect our shared values. On this Veterans Day, CLINIC wishes to thank all the current and former members of the United States armed forces and their families for their sacrifice, service and dedication.
USCIS has established several information services exclusively for members of the military and their families to find information about citizenship and other immigration benefits. They may go online to http://www.uscis.gov/military; call the USCIS toll-free help line, 1-877-CIS-4MIL, 1-877-247-4645; or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Allison Posner is the Director of Advocacy for CLINIC
CLINIC welcomes your thoughts and comments. When leaving comments please stay on topic and be respectful of others. CLINIC reserves the right to remove posted content that is defamatory.