A young, ambitious immigrant from Guatemala who dreamed of becoming an architect. A Nigerian medic. A soldier from China who boasted he would one day become an American general. An Indian Sikh native. What do they have in common?
They are among more than 100 foreign-born members of the U.S. military who earned American citizenship post-mortem, by dying in the Iraq war.
Immigrants have always fought — and died — in America's wars. There are tens of thousands of foreign-born members in the US armed forces. Many have been naturalized, but more than 20,000 are not US citizens.
Early in the Iraq war, Bush signed an executive order making the "Green card soldiers", as they are often called, eligible to apply for citizenship as soon as they enlist. Previously, legal residents in the military had to wait three years.
Since Bush's order, nearly 37,000 soldiers have been naturalized. And 109 who lost their lives have been granted posthumous citizenship.
Immigrant advocates have mixed feelings about military service for non-citizens. "Immigrants are lured into service and then used as political pawns or cannon fodder," said Dan Kesselbrenner, executive director of the National Immigration Project, a program of the National Lawyers Guild. (Full)
Picture courtesy About.com. Source: The Road Daily