Recent rumblings from Washington haven't been too promising for those in Miami hoping that immigration reform would be addressed by the House during the current legislative session. While the Senate passed new legislation that specifically identified a path to U.S. citizenship for the over 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living here, those reforms were bogged down by Congressional debates. Now, with only 15 days left in the current session, and a potential fiscal crisis again looming when Congress reconvenes in 2014, many fear that the issue is in danger of being shelved altogether.
Yet while politicians continue the debate over immigration reform, many have still taken advantage of those avenues to citizenship that are currently in place. A recent ceremony held at the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park in Texas honored military veterans for serving our country. What was unique about this event was that none of honorees were American citizens. The five veterans in attendance (four from Mexico, one from Chile) were recognized for serving the United States without even being naturalized citizens. Thanks to the combined efforts of park staff, the local district Congressman, and a district judge, the veterans were granted U.S. citizenship as part of the ceremony.
Examples such as this should serve as proof to anyone hoping to become a U.S. citizen that such a goal is attainable even in the absence of sweeping immigration reform. Those wanting to earn citizenship often lack the knowledge of what naturalization options are available to them. An immigration attorney may be a good source for that knowledge and for assistance in helping those people achieve their goals.
Source: Brownsville Herald "Five who served in military gain U.S. citizenship" Ty Johnson, Nov. 12, 2013