Fighting For Your Citizenship


Lt. Kenneth Tenebro enlisted in the armed forces after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, signing up even before he became an American citizen. He served one tour of duty in Iraq, dodging roadside bombs, and he would like to do another. But throughout that first mission, he harbored a fear he did not share with anyone in the military. Lieutenant Tenebro worried that his wife, Wilma, back home in New York with their infant daughter, would be deported.

[. . .] Immigration lawyers and Department of Homeland Security officials say that many thousands of people in the military have spouses or close relatives who are illegal immigrants. Many of those service members have fought to gain legal status for their family members — only to hit a legal dead end created in 1996, when Congress last made major revisions to the immigration laws. Today the issue is not only personal. “It is an issue of readiness for the American armed forces,” says Representative Zoe Lofgren, the Democrat from California who leads the House subcommittee on immigration. “We have many Americans who are afraid to deploy.”

Mrs. Tenebro is snagged on a statute, notorious among immigration lawyers, that makes it virtually impossible for her to become a legal resident without first leaving the United States and staying away for 10 years. [. . .] The legal boomerang that snared her and many others was created in 1996, when Congress imposed automatic restrictions on illegal immigrants, barring them from returning for periods of 3 to 10 years after they leave the country, regardless of whether they were deported or left voluntarily.

Hey Joe Lieberman. Maybe you can deal with this citizenship problem.

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  • Display: Sort:
    If they serve in our wars (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jen M on Sat May 08, 2010 at 09:40:09 AM EST
    they and their families should be able to stay. Limit it to wives and children if necessary but pass a darn law.

    Even if they serve in peacetime (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Cream City on Sun May 09, 2010 at 12:49:56 AM EST
    . . . they serve, and are ready to go where sent.

    And their families support them and make their service possible.  The sacrifices made by military spouses and children (and other family members, but I agree with you that this is probably the best bill that can be obtained) are incalculable and unimaginable to those of us who have not been through the worry, the waiting, and worse.

    And for our military to have to worry and wait for the worst to happen at home or when they come home?  Unconscionable.  Put these families at the top of the list for citizenship.  Now.


    Promises Promises (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sat May 08, 2010 at 09:23:58 AM EST
    Anything is said (and willingly believed) in order to get people willing to become human fodder (enlist to fight in WOT).

    Forget about NYC and other US cities, recruiters go to the Philippines, Mexico, etc to offer a deal with the devil, a fast track path to citizenship if you enlist.

    While the U.S. imperialists have always lured immigrants to serve as cannon fodder for their wars with the promise of giving them citizenship, this most recent push to ensnare hundreds of thousands of youth into the war machine began shortly after 9/11 when George Bush signed Executive Order 13296, which promised to shorten the time immigrants have to wait for citizenship if they serve in the armed forces.

    According to the Pentagon, there are now 35,000 non-citizens in the U.S. military, and about 8,000 join each year to try to take this promised path to citizenship. The government estimates that if the Dream Act were to be passed, there would be about 750,000 undocumented youth eligible to be recruited. (The Boston Globe, June 16, 2007)


    Heh (none / 0) (#10)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat May 08, 2010 at 02:24:04 PM EST
    You linked the revolutionary communist party of the USA.  Did you follow their link and give to their $500,000 Preparation for Revolution or Caribbean cruise, which ever comes first fund drive?   Recommended donation for student/ unemployed stooge of the imperialists is $5.  Visa or Mastercard only.  American Express not accepted because it has the word American in it.  

    Didnt your pals in Greensboro (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Sat May 08, 2010 at 02:30:46 PM EST
    kill all those people back in the seventies, Wile?

    Just more proof (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Sat May 08, 2010 at 02:32:54 PM EST
    that the Boston Globe is a commie front, I guess..

    Oh Good (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sat May 08, 2010 at 02:40:48 PM EST
    I was hoping that people like you would read the link. Now you have been brainwashed, and despite your protests, you will soon be one of our best assets.

    Viva La Revolution!


    yeah (none / 0) (#14)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat May 08, 2010 at 05:12:31 PM EST
    I was going to send money, but there was no recommended amount for a real, actual union member, so I skipped it.

    Just Wait (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Sat May 08, 2010 at 05:15:40 PM EST
    The programing will start to work soon enough. Look you are already a socialist, as a union member...   soon you will be passing out Karl Marx cliffnotes at Times Square.

    This is obviously a mistake made by Congress (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 08, 2010 at 10:59:34 AM EST
    and they should fix it.

    It is not a justification for all the screaming about AZ's new law.

    But (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat May 08, 2010 at 11:07:07 AM EST
    All the polling numbers you have quoted, show that America does not want these people here...

    Are you now coming around to the fact that either the poll question's skewed the response, or that most Americans made a mistake too.


    My point is that, as you know, (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 08, 2010 at 12:57:49 PM EST
    the AZ law and this is two separate issues.

    Now. Since we both know that, what was your point?


    You Know My Point (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sat May 08, 2010 at 02:10:26 PM EST
    And your polling is a temperature test regarding American's current xenophobic feeling about immigrants becoming citizens and competing for jobs during a weak economy.

    not to be nit picky, (none / 0) (#5)
    by cpinva on Sat May 08, 2010 at 11:08:24 AM EST
    but who, exactly, is it that we're being defended from in afghanistan & iraq? while i certainly appreciate the military, and the tough job it has, the US has never been attacked by either of the aforementioned countries, nor has congress declared war on them.

    when i took the oath, it was to "protect and defend the constitution", not some politician's hyper-inflated ego.

    Lt. Tenebro's service to the US is appreciated. that said, his tour in iraq in no way constitutes "defending" this country.

    Do you remember 9/11? (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 08, 2010 at 12:59:34 PM EST
    Osama bin Ladin? WMD's that intelligence agencies assured us were in Iraq?

    ..Because Bush (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Sat May 08, 2010 at 01:17:05 PM EST
    Cheney, Rumsfeld et al had previously been completely neutral about invading Iraq before being mislead by all that bad intelligence..

    hmm ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by nyrias on Sat May 08, 2010 at 09:15:48 PM EST
    The Iraq war is unjust, but ...

    But wasn't Afgan ruled by the Taliban before we invaded them?

    And weren't there Al Qaeda training camps in Afgan?

    And didn't Al Qaeda attacked us?

    Seems like we are defending against people who want to kill us when we invaded Afgan. Seems like a good course to me.


    hard cases make bad law (none / 0) (#18)
    by diogenes on Sun May 09, 2010 at 11:01:45 PM EST
    If she went to the Phillipines before the wedding and he married her there (the way lots of Americans do with "mail order brides" from Russia, etc), then the problem could be solved; the necessary fix in the law would not be that great.
    Of course, if she hadn't overstayed her visa illegally in the first place she wouldn't be having this problem.