Join or Die !

The representation of immigrants in the military is hardly ever spoken about. However, nearly 70,000 non-citizens enlisted in the US military between 1999 and 2008. The attraction to the military for many non-citizens is the military offers a faster track to citizenship, hence the name “green card soldiers”. In 2002, a presidential order from George W. Bush enabled non-citizens serving in the military to apply for expedited citizenship. The Army and Navy’s “Different Initiative” gives these immigrant enlistees the opportunity to naturalize once they graduate from basic training. While non-citizens can join, they must be permanent residents unless, “such enlistment is vital to the national interest,” according to the U.S. Code. The unpopularity of the Vietnam War sparked the practice of recruiting immigrants with temporary visas to fill the spaces of Americans who were unwilling to serve. This was also used in Iraq and Afghanistan because America’s military was once again stretched thin. These immigrants have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis. The resiliency and courage of these immigrants is highly admirable. Fighting a war for a country that isn’t your own displays the strong desire for many individuals to become citizens of the United States.

2 responses to “Join or Die !

  1. I think the emphasis with the military is about it being one as a whole. That is, rather than focusing on individuals/races/differentiation, it’s all about everyone as one.,

  2. I agree with Clifford Joe. The members in the military are united under one flag, so it is only logical to give them expedited citizenship. They are risking their lives for their country, so logically, they should be able to reap the benefits of being a citizen.

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