On this Veteran's Day, I would like to call attention to the many thousands of immigrants who have served in our nation's armed forces. In the most recent decade, non-citizens have made up approximately 4% of the active duty enlisted military. These men and women serve despite limited opportunities for advancement (non-citizens are ineligible for the officer corps with limited exceptions), and are more likely than the general population to serve out their full term of service.*
Non-citizen soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen/women are rewarded for their service by a faster path to citizenship. Spouses of U.S. servicemembers also qualify for some special treatment with repsect to citizenship, but many rules and restrictions apply.
For more information on citizenship for servicemembers and their families, visit www.statesidelegal.org.
*See: Non Citizens in the Enlisted U.S. Military, Molly F. McIntosh and Seema Sayala, CNA Analysis and Solutions, November, 2011. Accessed at http://www.cna.org/research/2011/non-citizens-enlisted-us-military November 12, 2012.