Morale: Dying For A Piece Of Paper

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April 26, 2011: Despite offering quick citizenship to foreigners serving in the U.S. military, many of these migrants have a hard time slogging through the process. To help with this, the U.S. Army has recently made it easier for non-citizen troops to meet with immigration officials on base, and when they are deployed overseas. The army also provides other assistance with the paperwork, using army personnel and new software. This has made the process a lot easier, and nearly doubled the number of troops obtaining their citizenship each year (11,146 did so in 2010.) This has been a big boost for the morale of non-citizen troops.

Since September 11, 2001, nearly 70,000 foreigners have become American citizens via military service. This was accomplished with new fast-track, rules. Since the Summer of 2002, legal migrants, who joined the armed forces, became eligible for citizenship a year after they entered the service. Previously, you had to wait three years. To obtain this fast-track citizenship, troops have to serve honorably for five years. In addition, over a hundred soldiers and marines have been made citizens posthumously, after dying in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Interestingly, a survey of the non-citizen troops indicates that the main reason they join is the educational opportunities and job training benefits, as well as patriotism, followed by the fast-track citizenship. This has been the pattern with immigration to the U.S. for over a century. During that period, America has been the greatest creator of new jobs on the planet. People come for work, and find freedom and other opportunities as secondary benefits.

 

 


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