“Dear America, I am an Arab American, but a proud American just like you (…) On that dreadful day, September 11th, my duffel bag was already packed and I was waiting to answer the call of duty. Why was I ready? I also want a better and safer America just like you. When it comes to patriotism and loyalty, I am red, white and blue, just like you.”
Sergeant Mahmoud El-Yousef in an open letter to American news outlets, February 2007
CitizenPath is proud to support the third annual Immigrant Heritage Month this June. Immigrant Heritage Month celebrates a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world and the honors ways in which America and the immigrants who have built our country are linked in a shared, productive history. Continue reading
By Patrick Young, Long Island Wins
Memorial Day originated at the end of the Civil War in Charleston, S.C. when former slaves organized a day to honor Union prisoners of war who had died in a racecourse used to incarcerate them. Over the coming years the tens of thousands of graves of Union soldiers buried in the South would be tended every year on Memorial Day by freedmen and freedwomen. The graves were despised by many Southern whites who saw the Union soldiers as invaders, but for the African Americans the Union soldiers were liberators who had ended slavery.
A quarter of those soldiers’ graves belonged to immigrants. Immigrants had made up half of the professional soldiers in the United States army before the war, and nearly half-a-million served in the Union army. Continue reading
Immigrants have a long history of serving in the United States armed forces. According to the U.S. Defense Department, there are currently 30,000-plus non-citizens serving on active duty. Since 2002, over 100,000 foreign-born U.S. soldiers gained expedited citizenship through military service.
More than 4,100 dedicated “green card soldiers” deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in all branches of the U.S. military. On March 21, 2003, Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, a Guatemalan native and U.S. permanent resident, was one the first U.S. service members killed in the Iraq war.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all members of our armed forces. We owe a special level of respect to foreign-born members of the military that fight for the United States even before enjoying the benefits of citizenship. Expedited citizenship through military service is one way to show that appreciation. Continue reading
This Thanksgiving as you debate President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration at the dinner table, take a moment to thank an immigrant.
Immigration reform may have many Americans divided, but we should all agree on this – immigrants have given back to America in spades. Immigrant contributions to this country are endless. For over two hundred years, immigrants’ contributions have helped shape the United States into what it is today. Let’s give thanks. Continue reading
Why does the United States provide visas to people who need a job but not people who want to create jobs in the United States? That’s the startup visa question.
Brilliant minds from around the world are able to come to the United States on student visas. We gladly educate them in our best universities, then generally ask them to leave. Likewise foreign entrepreneurs with next-generation ideas and dreams of launching a new business are given no welcome mat. With no existing family in the U.S., the only way for these people to immigrate to the U.S. is through employers.
That’s right. The country that prides itself on entrepreneurial, can-do spirit provides no such avenue for immigrants that want to come here to build business and grow jobs. There is no startup visa. Continue reading
Honorary U.S. citizenship is wonderful. No confusing USCIS applications and instructions. No waiting for the mail to give you news. No biometrics appointments or scary interviews. It’s all easy. There’s just one catch…
Gaining honorary citizenship in the United States will literally take an Act of Congress. It has only happened seven times, and five of the individuals were already dead when they were granted citizenship.
Sir Winston Churchill (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) was a British politician who was widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and was granted honorary U.S. citizenship in 1963. Continue reading
In May of 2007, Yaderlin Hiraldo’s husband, Alex Jimenez, went missing in Iraq. Alex, a solider in the U.S. army, disappeared after an ambush on his unit’s position outside of Baghdad.
Prior to his disappearance, Alex had filed papers with USCIS, seeking to obtain a green card for his wife, Yaderlin. Unfortunately the application caught the attention of immigration officials. Yaderlin had unlawfully entered the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 2001, paying $500 to a smuggler and walking three days from Mexico to California. Alex’s request for a green card for Yaderlin had alerted authorities to her situation.
Removal proceedings began. The government wanted Yaderlin to leave the U.S. and seek her visa in the Dominican Republic. Of course with her husband missing and without his support, she could not hope to return to the U.S. What’s more, after departing the U.S., she would be barred for 10 years from applying. Her prospects seemed hopeless. Continue reading