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News ::
Fight In Iraq To Get American Citizenship (english)
03 Apr 2003
( & News Agencies) – As many as 15,000 soldiers fighting in the ranks of the American invaders
in Iraq are not seeking to “liberate” the Iraqi people or rid the country of the alleged weapons of mass destruction but only to earn the
American citizenship.
The soldiers, mostly Latin Americans, are U.S. residents but not U.S. citizens, who were promised more than just their pay: they
will earn fast-track U.S. citizenship, key to their "American dream."

Thanks to a decree recently signed by President George W. Bush, thousands of armed forces members on active-duty can apply for
U.S. citizenship immediately, Daniel Kane, spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, told Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Wednesday, April 2.

Normally, a non-U.S. citizen who obtains residency must wait five years before beginning the paperwork for U.S. citizenship. And in
the armed forces that wait had been cut to three years.

But since Bush signed his order, a soldier with U.S. residency can request U.S. citizenship starting his first day on active duty,
instead of waiting three years, Kane explained.

According to Pentagon, 31,044 resident non-citizens were on active duty in the armed forces in April, most of them Latin
American-born servicemen in the Marines and Navy.

The INS did not offer a precise number of how many of those were from Latin American nations.

But the regional presence among U.S. armed forces, just as in the rest of the U.S. work force, is clear.

Of the first U.S. soldiers who died in combat, one was Guatemalan and two Mexican, and among the U.S. prisoners of war in Iraq,
one is Panamanian and the other a son of Mexican immigrants.

U.S. armed forces allow foreigners into their ranks only when they hold U.S. residency, which allows them to work legally in the
United States.

When the war on Iraq began, the U.S. embassy in Mexico received hundreds of calls from Mexicans who said they were willing to
fight in Iraq in exchange for citizenship.

Sensitive posts in American army such as in electronics, intelligence, special forces and on war planes, are reserved only for U.S.
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