A federal judge has ruled that the Defense Department must stop blocking applications for U.S. citizenship made by reserve soldiers who were promised a fast track. A 2008 pilot program, the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, promised certain noncitizens expedited citizenship in exchange for eight years of military service. Now that they've fulfilled their side of the bargain, the DOD is trying to back out.
The swearing in of naturalized citizens is a celebration when it occurs on the Fourth of July. This year, 100 new citizens were sworn in on the lawn of Mount Vernon, George Washington's historic home in Virginia. The full diversity of America was in evidence that day, as were mixed feelings about the Trump Administration and its immigration policies.
Many people assume that a child born abroad who has a U.S. citizen parent is automatically a U.S. citizen. This is not the case. If only one parent is a U.S. citizen, that parent can't pass citizenship to a foreign-born child without specific criteria -- and the criteria have traditionally differed depending on the gender of the parent.
Nearly five years ago, when President Obama signed his DACA executive order, many supported the bill by pointing out how unfair it was to deport people who had been brought here as children and who had never done anything different from U.S. citizens. That argument still rings true today and has only been refocused by President Trump's anti-immigration blitz and the uncertainty surrounding DACA's future.