No Citizenship for Service in The U.S. Army?
SAN ANTONIO, TX – July 9, 2018
Some immigrants who enlisted in the U.S. Army with the hope of obtaining citizenship, are being dismissed without any notification and, needless to say, without U.S. citizenship.
"It was my dream to serve in the military," said reservist Lucas Calixto, a Brazilian immigrant who filed a lawsuit against the Army last week. "Since this country has been so good to me, I thought it was the least I could do to give back to my adopted country and serve in the United States military."
Some of the former soldiers say they were not told why they were dismissed. Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they'd been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.
Another immigrant, a Pakistani service member, said he learned in a phone call a few weeks ago that his military career was over as well.
"There were so many tears in my eyes that my hands couldn't move fast enough to wipe them away," he said. "I was devastated, because I love the U.S. and was so honored to be able to serve this great country."
To become citizens, the service members need an honorable service designation, which can come after even just a few days at boot camp. But the recently discharged service members have had their basic training delayed, so they can't be naturalized.