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Another Simple Question

According to the Department of Defense, somewhere around 25,000 men have served in Iraq or Afghanistan in combat roles, who entered the United States illegally. Almost all have applied to become U.S. citizens on the basis of their military service.

Should illegals who serve the nation as combat military in time of war be able to become U.S. citizens? If yes, should they be granted preferential treatment in the process, as in quicker citizenship?


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Comments (43)

Yes. And Yes.I'm n... (Below threshold)

Yes. And Yes.

I'm not in favor of illegal immigration by any stretch.

I'm disgusted with the notion of cheaters and line cutters.

BUT...that's mainly because I think there should be a process or ritual or some proof of worth, that someone should have to go through to EARN citizenship.

Well, if combat military service doesn't suffice, I don't know what does.


What's disturbing is that s... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

What's disturbing is that someone who's not legally in the U.S. can join the military at all. Obviously, that needs to be fixed. That said, yes, anyone who has served honorably in the military, in combat or not, should be given preferential treatment in becoming a citizen. That as been the policy in the past and should continue regardless of their initial legal or illegal status.

I appreciate their service,... (Below threshold)

I appreciate their service, without a doubt, but they were aware of our constitution and our laws. We cannot sanction people whom openly break our laws. They should be able to apply at the front of the line, but not automatically get citizenship. That would be a very bad message. ww

This would imply that rough... (Below threshold)

This would imply that roughly 1 in 5 of our soldiers are illegal.

How's that Mizzou? 1/5 = 25... (Below threshold)

How's that Mizzou? 1/5 = 25000/x, x=125000. There are more than 125000 troops just in Iraq.

If any group of illegals de... (Below threshold)

If any group of illegals deserve a rapid path to citizenship it would be those that are in our armed forces - so Yes and Yes - most definitely. Like others, however, I'm shocked that more than just a handful could actually get in. Def Dept now uses the SSN for the ID - so who's SSN are they using? Is the US issueing SSN's to illegals? What a mess! gc

mizzou: This would imply th... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

mizzou: This would imply that roughly 1 in 5 of our soldiers are illegal.

DSkinner: How's that Mizzou? 1/5 = 25000/x, x=125000. There are more than 125000 troops just in Iraq.

If you read the article it states that 25,000 illegal aliens have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since the opening of hostilities -- in 2001 for Afghanistan, 2003 for Iraq. That is a total for six years. It also includes Marines, Navy, and Air Force personnel. ((I have a friend who is a Navy Officer who is currently seconded to an Army engineering unit in Afghanistan.)

With rotations and such, probably somewhere near 2,000,000 have served some time in those two gardens spots, and certainly over 1,000,000 have. It all depends upon how many multiple tours there were, and what the total rotations were.

As to D. J.'s question: Yes and Yes. One of the major responsibilities of citizenship is the willingness to defend your country. Even though they may have broken the law to get here, I am willing to let that pass, based on their willingness to put their blood on the line for the United States.

I think I would put them in... (Below threshold)

I think I would put them in line behind the legal aliens in the Services.

I would also look very hard at their recruiters and everyone else who signed off on their enlistment. There is NO excuse for them slipping through the cracks like that.


lunacy...your post #1 echoe... (Below threshold)

lunacy...your post #1 echoes my sentiments perfectly!

Volunteering for our Armed Services demonstrates EXACTLY the type of committment to this country we are looking for.

Kinda like when the argument is made to lower the drinking age to 18, since at 18 you can serve in the military (and if the Democrats have their way, be drafted!). My response is: if you are IN the military then it SHOULD be 18...otherwise wait until you're 21.

lunacy...i couldn't have sa... (Below threshold)

lunacy...i couldn't have said it better.

Yes, and no. That is, i wo... (Below threshold)

Yes, and no. That is, i would say, yeah, if you've served in combat and put your body in harm's way for the sake of this country, then I'm more than happy to let you have citizenship, no matter how you got in here.

As for preferential treatment ... I would not offer preferential treatment beyond that given to other combat veterans. Meaning that, yes, I'd see them on the fast track to citizenship, but I'd put them on the same track as other veterans who served the country.


For the first and only time... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

For the first and only time I agree with the wizzy right handed posters. I think we should allow anyone who can get their hands on a fake SS # to join in the killing spree. That way any Muslim freedom fighters or third world mercenaries could infiltrate America's military and make it their own. I love the idea. The rationale being as long as their willing to spill blood then let them spill it. Free citizenship for those suicide bombers who are dying to get their hands on American citizenship. Of course that's what they would be after.

Actually this might be a great idea for those of us who seek peace and want to dismantle the killing machine. This idea would be a great way for it to implode all on its own.

Just think of the insurgents who would be flocking to the US military just so they could become US citizens and get settled in. Love it, sign 'em up.

Foolish stupid Americanos. More foolish by the day.

just reading civil behav... (Below threshold)

just reading civil behavior's post above I'm reminded of the old anti-drug campaign:
"Don't Let Drugs Do THIS
To You!"

civil behavior,As ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

civil behavior,

As usual the only person looking stupid and foolish on this thread is you. As you can see, many of those in favor of granting preferential treatment in gaining citizenship to those in the military also want to stop illegals from gaining entry into the military in the first place. That undercuts the logic of your entire screed. Just think how much more effective you would be if you learned to read and reason well.

Actually this might be a great idea for those of us who seek peace and want to dismantle the killing machine.

A far better idea is for folks like you to stop having kids.

My sentiments would lie alo... (Below threshold)

My sentiments would lie along the same lines as Jay Tea's above. For some reason, I have to wonder about that figure the DOD is throwing out there and wonder why and how they let that many illegal aliens into the armed forces to begin with.

Civil Behavior said:... (Below threshold)

Civil Behavior said:
"I think we should allow anyone who can get their hands on a fake SS # to join in the killing spree."
To which I reply, "Are you ignorant of the facts, or are you lying?"
Trying to apply to serve in the United States military with fake documentation is a major offense that can lead to serious repercussions. In my local paper years ago they had a lengthy story about this. If an illegal immigrant wants to enlist, they have to have a clean criminal record, beside the immigration violation, and they have to tell recruiter the truth about their status. One illegal immigrant tried to lie his way in and wound up in jail. Lying and fraud are real bad things, and the US military understands this. During the Truman administration my father served as a doctor in the US Navy and a number of his fellow doctors were foreign born. A family in Mexico recently buried their grandfather and found in his effects documents that showed he served in the US Army in WWII and was at D-Day.
The recent bill that modified the rules for foreigners serving in the military only made the path to citizenship faster. For my part, I feel illegal immigrants should be able to serve, but I think the old (pre-911 time) of three years to citizenship was adequate and should not have been changed to one year.

thx Mark L for excellent an... (Below threshold)

thx Mark L for excellent analysis putting the 25,000 number in proper perspective. The number is ~2%, give or take. As for "how they let that many illegal aliens into the armed forces to begin with"...the answer is that in most cases the recruiter DOES know they are here illegally, and helps them go thru the process of obtaining the necessary paperwork so they can serve in our Armed Forces. There were a couple in my platoon way back when...and that is exactly what happened.

Again, willing to fight for this country shows MUCH more true American spirit than being a drug-addled San Francisco moron who protests any and everything and calls THAT "Patriotic".

I would also look ... (Below threshold)
I would also look very hard at their recruiters and everyone else who signed off on their enlistment.

An army guy once told me that the Army puts incredible pressure on its recruiters to produce X amount of new recruits each month. Promises are made, corners are cut, half-truths and even lies are told -- anything to make the monthly quota.

So it wouldn't surprise me that the recruiter is not going to be doing very many things to cause any of the HS grads he talks to be DQed.

Yes and Yes, and "civil beh... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Yes and Yes, and "civil behavior" is a douchebag.

Where did you get that info... (Below threshold)

Where did you get that information DJ? I checked the Dod website and, with a several different searches combos, couldn't find anything that referenced illegal aliens serving though I wouldn't be surprised if a few are.

The latest story on aliens is here:

In it mentions 35,000 current with 8,000 joining each year. It notes the hope that an Amnesty Bill of some kind will be passed so that undocumented aliens, particularly the ones who had come as children and are now adults can join. But in all, it notes the requirement they be citizens or resident aliens, which seems to me means they deny illegals.

I'm sceptical about the 25,000 illegals. But if it is accurate, I liken that to the earlier efforts of 17 yo's or those above the age limit lying about their age to get in. Of course not all have admirable motives but I'll let it slide and give a yes to the first and while not preferential processing the normal which takes about 3-6 months to be completed.

Yes & Yes.By the w... (Below threshold)

Yes & Yes.

By the way... if they take the oath to serve they are by any definition no longer 'illegal'.

Should they be allowed to b... (Below threshold)

Should they be allowed to become American citizens? Of course. Even the most "pro-fence" of us don't want to ban legal immigration.

Preferential treatment? Yes, but only to a point. Volunteering for combat is more than enough to go over the violations of immigration law (most other illegals don't have to do hard labor for months even if they are caught), and probably shows a basic understanding of patriotism.
That shouldn't undo anything that would have otherwise disqualified them, nor should it put them ahead of those who've followed the letter of the law. (The former should be very rare, and result in some sort of punishment for the recruiter or individuals doing a background check).

I am not in favor of allowi... (Below threshold)
Colorado KnightOwl:

I am not in favor of allowing illegal aliens into the service. Their is a security concern. However once having served honorably, they should be allowed to petition for citizenship. If they face danger on account of our country then they are entitled to the blessings of this country.

I also think recruiting illegals to make up for shortfalls is a terribly concerning situation that must be addressed. If we cannot get enough legal residents and citizens to defend this country, then we are in great danger of falling.

I don't know if these illeg... (Below threshold)

I don't know if these illegals successfully decieved the military establishment of their status or not. I don't know if they were accepted contingent on the fact that by joining it would make them eligible for citizenship. I don't know a lot. So I'll set that aside in answering the questions.

But my answers would be yes and yes. Allow me to explain though:

When someone joins the military they don't have complete control over where they're sent or if they're sent anywhere at all. Actual physical ability determines whether they'll be in a combat role, so I wouldn't make combat experience a prerequisite for eligibility. But the fact that they joined at all during a time of war to lend what support they're capable of is commendable and should be considered. So basically - yes to the first question.

As to number two: the fast track should be determined based on whether their service has been honorable. A bunch of infractions revealing poor character that will likely be reflected in civilian life as well should relegate them to the back of the line. Otherwise - yes to the second question.

These individuals most like... (Below threshold)
MOS 13A:

These individuals most likely participated in a fraudulent enlistment.

They should be treated like any other fraudulent enlistment and thrown out. Along with any Recruiters and Recruiting Officers that participated.

If they will break the law to enter the USA, continue breaking the law by staying in the USA and break the law by enlisting what law will they not break next?

If you tacitly allow this p... (Below threshold)
MOS 13A:

If you tacitly allow this practice to continue you open a huge path for the enemies of the USA to follow.

Should illegal alien Mohamed Osawi, who has no papers, has an "empty background" be allowed to stay in the services, be granted citizenship fast track and then be allowed a security clearance?

This is the same is a mortgage company not being very willing to give a mortgage to a couple who lost their house last year through forclosure.


MOS 13A I don't understand ... (Below threshold)
Colorado KnightOwl:

MOS 13A I don't understand your analogy. As a former 11B2P I am worried about those in the service without sufficient checkable backgrounds.
I think back to that sergeant in the 101st ABN who fragged some of his officers prior to the start of the Iraq war.....
Hiring illegals to do our fighting is wrong.

No and No. Mostly for the ... (Below threshold)

No and No. Mostly for the security reasons already mentioned, but also too slippery a slope -- what's next? Civil service? If they become firemen? What about cops?

I so enjoy being called ign... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

I so enjoy being called ignorant of the facts or douchebag. I think it serves to illuminate the perfunctory practices of right wing ideologues, such depth of argument.

But on another note I do believe that the right wingers who are so happy to have anyone fight their dirty wars, that they would employ anyone willing to step up to the plate, anyone, are doing the right thing. Yes, better them than me, better over there than over here. Better despised illegal aliens than my precious rich kids. Who cares if "they" die by the tbousands as long as it's not me or mine. "Those people" are dispensable. Heck, didn't Mother Barbara tell us that for those people "this [chuckling slightly]is working very well for them." Yessiree......very well......Sacrifice? Who? Georgie boy or the Dick?

So I've got to give it to you righties. You've got the drill down pat.

Illegal aliens are good in war. Illegal aliens are bad in my neighborhood.

Disgusting hypocrisy takes on a whole new meaning when it's elevated to martydom doesn't it?

ijosha: I'm not so sure I ... (Below threshold)

ijosha: I'm not so sure I entirely agree with you. I understand your slippery slope argument, but even though no system is perfect, I would have considerably more faith in our military's vetting of these individuals than our government; especially after considering the bill they just tried to pass.

civil behavior: you obviously don't recognize disgusting hypocrisy when you engage in it yourself. Nor do you see the misrepresentations of the words of others you constantly use to berate those you seem to hate so much. So it's no wonder your self-righteous sarcasm falls on deaf ears and gets more laughs than serious contemplation. Pity that.

civil behavior,You... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

civil behavior,

Your anti-war, anti-conservative bias overwhelms any reasoning power you might otherwise have.

Who on this thread is advocating allowing illegal aliens to join the military? If they got in they lied as current regulations require recruits to be either citizens or resident aliens (that means they have a green card).

What we're saying is that if any illegal aliens deserve to be citizens it those willing to first server in the military.

Many of us posting here are veterans ourselves, so your nonsense about getting other people to die for us is ignorant at best.

So you don't like war; who does? However, history shows conclusively that war is sometimes necessary. I know you don't believe this war is necessary, but that's your opinion, which you can express freely because of the sacrifice paid by others to give you that freedom. Use it wisely while you have it.

Yes and yes. I believe tha... (Below threshold)

Yes and yes. I believe that there can be no better training for or test of the qualities of a good citizen than a minimum of 3 years honorable active service in our Armed Forces

Yes and yes.... (Below threshold)
Paul A'Barge:

Yes and yes.

Absolutely, positively yes ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Absolutely, positively yes on both accounts!

We should put a stop to il... (Below threshold)

We should put a stop to illegals joining the military. The ones already in should be reviewed on a case by case if they should be kept in. The ones that are should be given citizenship once their term is up.

After that there should be a quick path to citizenship by serving in the military for four or more years or some sort of federal service unit (building roads, buildings, disaster recovery, ect) for 6 years. Anyone whos willing to do this for the country should be jumped to the head of the line over people who dont. Just go to the local US embassy and sign up.

Yes and yes, but the milit... (Below threshold)

Yes and yes, but the military should not have allowed them to join in the first place. Let's fix that problem and grandfather those who are already serving.

Yes, however, there are leg... (Below threshold)

Yes, however, there are legal procedures for non-citizens to join our military and then apply for citizenship. I would prefer they follow the legal procedures up front. But, if they came here illegally and now feel the need to serve and become a citizen through sacrifice, I am happy to have them on board.

The clever wording leads pe... (Below threshold)

The clever wording leads people to the wrong conclusion. Drummond should be ashamed of himself. Here is what he wrote;

"somewhere around 25,000 men have served in Iraq or Afghanistan in combat roles, who entered the United States illegally"

This tells us almost nothing. Did they enter illegally at the age of 2 years with their parents and are now citizens? Are they still illegal? What does it mean that they entered illegally? Are they counting the folks who joined up from the Philippines when we still had our base open there and Philippino's (Non-U.S. Citizens) were allowed to join our Navy?

Some people let their emotions get the best of them. If I had to guess, i'd say 24,980 of those 25,000 aren't "illegal" in the sense most here assume. They are probably already legal citizens.

As to the other 20, sure, give them citizenship ahead of the rest. They put their lives on the line for me and my family, they deserve it.

Yes - they should on both c... (Below threshold)

Yes - they should on both counts. Once they have completed their enlistment, they should be entitled to the benefits of the nation they have just sacrificed years of their lives to protect.

This question is retorical isn't it?

Hey, Mac: War is Not the A... (Below threshold)

Hey, Mac: War is Not the Answer; except when there is no Question of It.

Yes! Those who serve are b... (Below threshold)

Yes! Those who serve are better citizens than many that were born here. The have EARNED citizenship

[Posted by: Baggi at July 6... (Below threshold)

[Posted by: Baggi at July 6, 2007 07:53 PM]

I don't think the 25,000 number is even right, Baggi. I can't find it anywhere on DoD or news reports, referenced in any blogs other than this one.

On the other hand, I've seen many links to much hand wringing from the left about the military not letting illegals in. One story in the Chicago Sun-Times from January complained that recruiters were checking too carefully and turning down illegals by the handful weekly.

Finally, below is a link to a story, May 2007, by reporter from the Topeka Capital-Journal wherein he had a 17,000 figure thrown at him and he went to the source. The result of his research, "As I expected, this 'statistic' is a complete and utter fabrication, a falsehood, a lie."

Now, I'll grant that the data he gave in his story doesn't absolutely prove his strong judgment. But the Secretary of the Defense would have to make the determination that accepting illegals was in the interest of national security before it could be done, as the law now allows him to do it. If he had made that determination, I'm sure we would all now about it, and on that basis I'll take the reporter judgment as correct and that the number of illegals serving is, at it's largest, miniscule.


I came into this discussion... (Below threshold)
Subotai Bahadur:

I came into this discussion late, as this was forwarded to me.

I would say definitely yes, albeit I may be biased. At the time my father came to this country, he was not exactly an "illegal
alien" because Chinese literally did not count as people under American law. In 1943, when the law was changed and we
were recognized as human, he was working as one of the bosses in the Food Service area at old Lowry Army Air Force Base
[this was when it was in the Park Hill area of Denver, before it was moved to the Aurora-Denver boundary]. His status was
obviously known to the government, who was paying him; but at the time it was the norm to use Chinese when needed,
regardless of legal status, and abuse them when convenient or amusing. [The current Colorado Rockies baseball stadium sits
on the site of the old Chinatown in Denver, burned by the Klan in the 1920's.].

As a Chinese national [and human being] he was allowed to join the Army in 1943 at the age of 28 [bloody ancient for an
soldier in those days]. They tried to relegate him to being a cook, and he fought his way into the infantry. Qualified 'Expert' in
damn near everything [I have his military papers, but did not learn of his military record until after his death]. Ended up the war as one of the first non-White squad leaders in the Infantry
[SGT], highly decorated, and had the honor of personally helping liberate the last Concentration Camp in German hands
[Gunzkirchen]. Because of his military service, he was allowed to apply and got his citizenship.

In these days, you would have to security check them to a fair thee well, but if a foreign national will fight to defend this country
against all enemies, foreign or domestic; yes he has earned a chance to apply for citizenship.

I would even go so far as to approve of the creation of a Foreign Legion division in our Army composed of such souls. As
they serve out their first enlistments [say 4- 6 years] and get in the citizenship qeue, they can transfer to Regular units if they
choose to re-enlist and be replaced by new immigrants. I don't think there will ever be enough Chinese to serve as a separate
unit in that division, but I can see an American Army Highland Regiment .

The Tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots. The blood of immigrants is as red as those
of native born.






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