Thursday, February 19, 2009

NYT on Expedited Citizenship for Military Personnel

I ran an article on this blog on February 4 about the new naturalization rules for military personnel: The New York Times then ran a story last weekend about the US government's plans to offer expedited citizenship to foreign nationals who served/are serving in US armed forces. (Click on headline above for a link to the article online)

The article quotes recruiters as expecting that:
the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.
The New York Times article explains that the program to allow non permanent residents to enlist will be limited to 1,000 in the first year. The new program will NOT allow undocumented immigrants to joing the military.
The Army’s one-year pilot program will begin in New York City to recruit about 550 temporary immigrants who speak one or more of 35 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Igbo (a tongue spoken in Nigeria), Kurdish, Nepalese, Pashto, Russian and Tamil. Spanish speakers are not eligible. The Army’s program will also include about 300 medical professionals to be recruited nationwide.
Language experts will have to serve four years of active duty, and health care professionals will serve three years of active duty or six years in the Reserves. If the immigrants do not complete their service honorably, they could lose their citizenship.
In recent years, as American forces faced combat in two wars and recruiters struggled to meet their goals for the all-volunteer military, thousands of legal immigrants with temporary visas who tried to enlist were turned away because they lacked permanent green cards, recruiting officers said.

No comments:

Post a Comment