The national celebration of Veteran’s Day honors the brave men and women that served in the United States arm forces. All the men and all the women of all faith, color and race that were and are in the military should be honored.
But are immigrants who are non-citizens that serve and are diploid to foreign countries are being honored when they become U.S veterans with no citizenship?
According to the Department of Defense 2008 data 65,000 immigrants (non-citizens and naturalized citizens) were on active duty in the U.S military. That 5 percent is expected to increase now that the military, which recently announced loosening up policy, will allow immigrants with no visa to become part of the U.S military. Before, immigrants needed a green card or a visa to join the military. The new policy –known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI – is believed to help immigration reform.
The Dream Act legislation, which offers citizenship to immigrants who serve two years in the military – along with earning a college degree or being brought as a child – offers the opportunity for veterans to become U.S citizens. President Obama and other political leaders are trying (and I’m using the word trying very lightly) to pass this legislation through.
The U.S Army’s website states that 11 percent of Hispanic-Americans are enlisted and by the year 2020 the Army estimates that it will increase to 22.3 percent. Which is an indication that Hispanics continue to be willing participants in the American culture, workforce and military.
If a person wants to put their life on the line to protect the interest of the United States, then let’s reward these brave men and women with an U.S. citizenship for their military duties and their contribution to “freedom”.