Cross posted from The Uncooperative Blogger
From CBS News:
House Republicans seeking to build a pre-election record for getting tough on illegal immigration plan a new vote Thursday on a border fence proposal that won House approval last December.
The bill calls for building more than 700 miles of double-layered fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico. The House approved the same amount of fencing when it passed its enforcement-focused immigration bill last December.
House leaders see the fence construction as a border security issue that needs immediate attention, said Kevin Madden, spokesman for House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. The bill is an “emergency measure” to add fencing and technology on the border, he said.
The Senate approved a broader immigration bill in May that proposed construction of 370 miles of fencing. The Senate also provided $1.8 billion in a defense spending bill to build the fence. The border now has 75 miles of fencing along it.
House Republicans were expected to announce additional border security measures Thursday. They were still working on how the bills would be enacted _ separately, as a package or included in still pending spending bills for the military and homeland security.
While the Congress is playing politics with our countries future, some legal and illegal immigrants are busy protecting it.
From The Houston Chronicle:
A record number of immigrants are becoming U.S. citizens by serving in the armed forces. Some are granted citizenship posthumously after they are killed in battle. But most survive the perils of war and soon pledge allegiance to the red, white and blue.
More than 25,000 immigrants have become citizens and another 40,000 have become eligible for citizenship through the military since President Bush signed an executive order in July 2002 speeding the process.
‘’We’ve had a record surge of applications,” said Dan Kane, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington. Immigrants ‘’can apply for citizenship immediately, the day they are sworn in as members of the military.”
The 40,000 immigrants in the U.S. military can become citizens after only a year of active duty instead of the previous three years, Kane said.
Only legal residents — or immigrants who entered the country illegally and then applied for residency — can enter the armed forces. And while the fast track to citizenship is a strong lure for some, it’s not the main reason many Latino immigrants sign up, say military recruiters in the Rio Grande Valley.
‘’I’d put No. 1, the educational benefits,” said U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Levi Garcia, a Brownsville recruiter and himself an immigrant from Nicaragua. ‘’No. 2, work experience, and three would be serving their country, or patriotism.”
Citizenship benefits are a distant fourth, he said.
I am not sure I buy the Sgt. playing down the citizenship angle. I mean what good is education without citizenship?
That said, it is an honorable way to become a citizen of the USA and I thank them for their service.
Citizenship comes posthumously for some immigrants.
Since the 9/11 attacks, at least 80 immigrant troops have been declared U.S. citizens after being killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, U.S. officials say.
Julio Cisneros Alvarez, 22, a native of Reynosa, Mexico, had joined the Marine Corps and hoped that the U.S. government would help him pay for medical school.
But his plans were cut short in January 2005, a little more than a year after he enlisted. A machine gunner, he was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his Humvee during a nighttime patrol in Iraq.
A month later, in a somber ceremony at the U.S. immigration offices in Harlingen, his mother accepted a certificate granting him U.S. citizenship.
When you go to war for this country you have earned the right to be an American Citizen. When you give your life for this country you have made the ultimate sacrifice for the USA as many have in the past and their families deserve to be citizens as well.
They just had tro politicize this, didn’t they.
Laws passed in 2003 and 2004 grant citizenship to immigrants killed in combat, give priority status to surviving spouses and children, and waive processing fees.
The provisions have allowed about 1,000 service members to become citizens while serving at overseas military bases in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, at U.S. Embassies, and even aboard warships.
The citizenship ceremonies are sometimes held close to the battlefield. In July, for instance, 69 active duty service members took the oath of allegiance at a military camp in Balad, Iraq.
Leaders of some Hispanic groups say immigrants’ sacrifices in war aren’t always acknowledged, especially by those pushing to seal the U.S.-Mexico border.
Well here is one group of people pushing for securing the border and deporting those in this country illegally that has just acknowledged their service and sacrifice, stuff it.
“How can we tell our young men and women to fight overseas to defend our nation … when Congress is falling over itself to punish their families, neighbors and friends by deporting them?” said Brent Wilkes, director of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington.
When they say things like:
- White Europeans go home
- This land belongs to the Natives and the first people
- The border crossed us, we didn’t cross the border
- Brown Power
- When they march in our streets holding Mexican flags demanding citizenship for existing
- When they refuse to assimilate into our society and instead try and force their culture on us
- When they take down the U.S. flag and raise the Mexican flag
I could go on but you get the idea. This person really pissed me off. He took a good story and tried to use it for illegal immigration politics.
There are good people that have come here illegally, but they still came here illegally. There are also a bunch of bad people who came here illegally. People who do not love America, they hate it. If their language and culture is so important to them, why don’t they go back to their countries of origin that have that culture?
Those Men and women who serve and died for this country have EARNED their citizenship. to just give it to people for existing would be to demean their sacrifice and service.
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.