U.S. Offers Citizenship in return for Military Service

geochem1st

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U.S. Offers Citizenship in
Return for Military Service


By Natasha Mozgovaya

Translated By Maayan Keren

16 February 2009

Israel - Haaretz - Original Article (Hebrew)

The pilot program will allow immigrants with temporary visas to earn permanent citizenship. This will be conditionally granted after completion of an English exam, oath of allegiance to the country and a number of years in the military.

The United States Armed Forces declared the launch of a new trial program that will allow immigrants with temporary visas to shorten the road to long-awaited citizenship. Immigrants who join the armed forces will be able to gain citizenship within six months of their enlistment. The U.S. military had only allowed recruitment of permanent residents up until now; however, this new program will grant an opportunity for immigrants whom have been in the United States for a minimum of two years.

The economic crisis has caused many Americans, especially those from poverty stricken states, to reconsider pursuing a career in the military. Although the number of recruits has risen in the past few months, the new members don't necessarily constitute what is considered a "high-tech" military. Last year, only 82 percent out of 80,000 new recruits possessed matriculation certificates, and 18 percent enlisted despite medical problems and past criminal records.

The U.S. Armed Forces has been considering the possibility of recruiting immigrants with temporary visas for the past few years. Research centers estimate there are about 57,000 immigrants staying in the U.S. today whom do not hold "green cards" and are within recruitment age. If 10 percent of them enlist into the military, the annual recruitment quota will be filled.

Both sides are said to gain from this new arrangement: at times when even American citizens experience difficulty finding jobs, the recruited immigrants will enjoy a steady salary, an opportunity to acquire a profession and significant benefits that include college scholarships and health care coverage. The military, on the other hand, is hoping to recruit young people with special talents, who are essential to the new framework of military doctrine, which calls for close cooperation with populations in foreign countries.

Immigrant recruits may supply the military with manpower that can spare the expenses related to foreign language and cultural education. The military is hoping the new program will offer an incentive to student immigrants, especially nurses, doctors and linguists, but also for native speakers of one of the 53 "strategic languages," which include Arabic, Russian, Chinese and Kurdish.

An Egyptian physician who recently joined the U.S. military is teaching Arabic to American soldiers once a week, and told "Haaretz" that for him it is a worthwhile arrangement that does not require any special effort on his part.

Receiving citizenship, however, is also contingent on successfully passing an English exam and taking an oath of allegiance to the United States.
In addition, the immigrants will not be able to receive their citizenship and leave the country immediately thereafter. Linguists will be required to serve four years, while doctors and nurses must complete three years in regular army service, or six years in reserve. Those who do not complete their required service will have their citizenship revoked.

- 57,000 immigrants of recruitment age live in the U.S. today.

- 92,000 immigrants without American citizenship currently serve in the U.S. armed forces.

- 8,000 permanent residents enlist in the military every year.

- 1,000 immigrants will be enlisted during the first year of the trial program.

- 41,000 immigrants will be enlisted every year, within the long-term goals of the trial program.


Watching America   :   » U.S. Offers Citizenship in Return for Military Service
 

coldsteal2

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When i was in the service, we had alot of
ESL imigrants that were in that program back
in the 80s. (ESL English Second Language graduates)
Lots from the Philipines, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico,
Guatamala, Guam, Taiwan.
Works out pretty good....but i dont know about the new program
 

b-squared

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I hate to burst their bubble, but they've been doing something like this for years.

In the 80's I served with a dude that was from Honduras, and had a green card for the US. After serving so-many years he could take the test and obtain citizenship.

He couldn't work on bombers because of his security clearance (technically a foreign national) but he did work on tankers.

BB
 

geochem1st

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I believe it is unfair to expect endless tours of duty from our military personnel. They are stretched to the max. It was gutless of our past Administration to not have a draft to supplement the military. As a result, we now have a 'backdoor' draft with servicemen who have already done their share, grandparents have been called back to active duty. It's just wrong.

Having said that I think it depends on who the potential 'citizens' are. I have no problem with accepting immigrants from Europe, Canada, and Israel. In the past Mexican citizens in the US Military have served with distinction. However, I do have an issue with bringing in immigrants from the Middle East, for obvious reasons.

Racial profiling?.... yes, so be it.
 

b-squared

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If they are willing to fight for the US, heck yeah, I'd let them in.

It's more that most of our citizens are willing to do. :D

BB
 

coldsteal2

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Believe it or not we had two Russian ex pats in my
Army Basic Training platoon. Which in the late 80s
that was pretty amazing, but yea they dont get security
clearances for jobs that require it.

But they are great, they are usualy very gung ho and
pro America.
 

LoKi

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I really don't know a whole whack of Canadians rushing to become American citizens, but I see a few fundamental problems with this plan.

1 is AWOL. These people are hiding in America as it is, and are pretty good at it. Joining the army, bailing in 6 months and hiding would not be a huge stretch for some of them.

2 is that just because you want a green card, that doesn't make you a soldier by trade. It takes a real dedication to join the army. Not a flash in the pan, quick decision by any means. I've been considering joining the Canadian Armed Forces for years. With my technical training, they offered me a ridiculous signing bonus, but you don't join the military because you want to make money. I couldn't even consider the money as a lure. If I don't join for the right reasons, my role could let down millions of people.

There are other reasons as well, not just racial profiling, but obvious trust and security issues. We had a couple American Muslims when the Iraq war first started who turned on their own and managed to kill 5 or 6 good people before they were brought down. Aside from the obvious treason, it makes you wonder if the only reason why they joined the military was for the chance to infiltrate and betray.
 

PraXis

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Put 'em on the front lines and I'll support the idea.
 

randygt

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Brilliant...let the lunatics run the asylum...everyday it's another completely idiotic idea
 

KSG_Standard

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...It was gutless of our past Administration to not have a draft to supplement the military...


If my memory serves me correctly, the last time we had a draft, it didn't work so well...The all volunteer military has helped the US to build one of the finest military machines in the world.

I think that we should offer more incentives to those brave individuals that voluntarily serve their country, but we should not have compulsary service unless we are in a "World" war like WWII. Just my opinion.

I am all for offering an easy path to citizenship for foreign nationals who serve the country, they've paid a price for thier citizenship. There have been some real heros that have served the US military in spite of their non-citizen status. I'm reminded of Lt. Rick Rescorla, a british citizen that served in Vietnam. He served heroically in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam and then during the 9/11 attacks he managed to save all of the people that he was responsible for in the World Trade Center before perishing himself. A true hero, but just one of many.

Rick Rescorla.com
 

kernelofwisdom

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If my memory serves me correctly, the last time we had a draft, it didn't work so well...The all volunteer military has helped the US to build one of the finest military machines in the world.

I think that we should offer more incentives to those brave individuals that voluntarily serve their country, but we should not have compulsary service unless we are in a "World" war like WWII. Just my opinion.

- snip -

The main problem I see currently is that we're working our reserves to death, not just the active folks. multiple rotations for reserve troops. no end in sight. i'd say if we're going to tap reserves for a war that will last over a decade, we need to come up with an alternative to just forcing them into perpetual active duty. that could be incentives as you say, or perhaps the draft again - or maybe fewer wars.

I believe the thinking would be a lot deeper about getting into these wars if an active draft were the probable outcome - because that would cost votes, which is something politicians understand. for that reason, i'm pretty keen on it, that and relieving the burden on the current forces.

The issues with the armed forces in vietnam were real, but i think to some degree they reflected society in general.

anyway, no answer comes easy in situations like this.
 

KP

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They were doing this in the 60's. I knew a Canadian who would get his US citizenship at the end of the enlistment.
 

geochem1st

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The main problem I see currently is that we're working our reserves to death, not just the active folks. multiple rotations for reserve troops. no end in sight. i'd say if we're going to tap reserves for a war that will last over a decade, we need to come up with an alternative to just forcing them into perpetual active duty. that could be incentives as you say, or perhaps the draft again - or maybe fewer wars.

I believe the thinking would be a lot deeper about getting into these wars if an active draft were the probable outcome - because that would cost votes, which is something politicians understand. for that reason, i'm pretty keen on it, that and relieving the burden on the current forces.

The issues with the armed forces in vietnam were real, but i think to some degree they reflected society in general.

anyway, no answer comes easy in situations like this.

What he said ^ :)

You always state things more eloquently than I do.
 

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