Although it isn’t a military secret per se, MAVNI is a small and very exclusive program that benefits immigrants and the U.S. military. Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) is a special recruiting program that has been available to certain immigrants interested in joining the U.S. military. Generally, immigrants must be permanent residents to join the military (see Military Enlistment Requirements); once enlisted these green card soldiers can take advantage of expedited citizenship. However, MAVNI allows certain non-citizens in the United States to join the military and thereby gain eligibility for U.S. citizenship without first having to go through the lengthy process of obtaining a green card. Continue reading
How failing to register for Selective Service creates a problem for men filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
Permanent resident men are commonly surprised when they stumble upon Question 44 in Part 12 of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
Men between the ages of 18 and 26 are expected to register for the Selective Service and provide proof for the purposes of naturalizing as a U.S. citizen. But how does failing to register for selective service affect one’s eligibility for naturalization? Will Form N-400 be denied if the applicant has not registered? There are numerous questions that this article addresses based on a review of the USCIS policy manual. Continue reading
“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
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
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