Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Join the Army, Be a US Citizen in 6 Months
Times of India ^ | 16 Feb 2009, 0403 hrs IST | Chidanand Rajghatta

Posted on 02/16/2009 8:20:25 AM PST by lewisglad

WASHINGTON: For decades, high-skilled professionals from across the world, particularly India, have fought their way to US citizenship through legal immigration channels — a process that can take up to a decade or more. Now, Uncle Sam is making it easy. Fight your way — literally — to American citizenship in as little as six months.

In a far reaching proposal, the US military will open its doors to skilled immigrant guest workers (such as those who hold H-1B visas) who have lived in the US for a minimum of two years. The move is aimed at offsetting the poor recruitment intake from traditional sources at a time the US military is stretched thin by deployments in Iraq and the Af-Pak theater.

US Green card holders, also known as permanent residents, have long been eligible to enlist in the military. But this is the first time since the Vietnam War that the armed forces will be open to temporary immigrants and offer them a path to citizenship, a move that in some ways amounts to outsourcing its wars.

The program comes at a time when skilled immigrants in the US are facing a slowing job market, offering them an avenue to turn potential pink slips into not just Green cards, but citizenship — if they are so obsessed about their American Dream.

A pilot program that will take in 1000 immigrant recruits nationwide will begin in New York City in the first year, according the New York Times, which first reported the development on Sunday.

By going to the pool of skilled immigrants, recruiters actually expect to improve the quality of US military personnel, since most foreign skilled guest workers typically have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist. This is expected to help the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.

The program is particularly germane to Indian guest workers who constitute the largest segment of skilled foreign workers in the US, and although Spanish-speaking Latinos constitute the largest group of immigrants, they are largely unskilled.

The one-year pilot program in New York City that will recruit 550 personnel (rest 450 will come from across the country) explicitly excludes Spanish speakers, while being open to immigrants who speak one or more of 35 languages, including Hindi/Urdu, Tamil, Arabic, Chinese, Nepalese, Pashto etc. US officials have said in the past that they sorely lacked field intelligence operatives with requisite language skills to be deployed in the Af-Pak theater.

The army’s program will also include about 300 medical professionals to be recruited nationwide. If the pilot program, which is restricted to the army and some other agencies, succeeds, it will expand for all branches of the military


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: army; economy; h1b; immigrantlist; immigration; military; naturalization; recruitment; usmilitary
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-93 next last

1 posted on 02/16/2009 8:20:25 AM PST by lewisglad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

Why don’t they just create the “American Foreign Legion”.


2 posted on 02/16/2009 8:20:53 AM PST by dfwgator (1996 2006 2008 - Good Things Come in Threes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

Why not indeed? After all, right now, a lot of Visas are literally allocated by Lottery and most of the rest go to “family reunification” purposes.

If this were to be expanded, I would volunteer in a heartbeat.


3 posted on 02/16/2009 8:23:16 AM PST by furquhart (Well, at least we might get the Cold War back...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

4 posted on 02/16/2009 8:23:18 AM PST by lewisglad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

Why not, it worked sooo well for the Romans in 378 A.D.

Oh wait...


5 posted on 02/16/2009 8:23:44 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad
...since most foreign skilled guest workers typically have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist.

They do?


6 posted on 02/16/2009 8:25:16 AM PST by TSgt (Extreme vitriol and rancorous replies served daily. - Mike W USAF)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

> Why don’t they just create the “American Foreign Legion”.

I have always thought that would be a great idea. It works really well for France, and has done for nearly 200 years.


7 posted on 02/16/2009 8:25:59 AM PST by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad
But this is the first time since the Vietnam War that the armed forces will be open to temporary immigrants and offer them a path to citizenship, a move that in some ways amounts to outsourcing its wars.

When I was in the military in the 1990s, I could have sworn that there was a program which allowed foreigners to enlist and achieve citizenship upon completion of a 4 year enlistment term. I knew a Filipino guy who, if I remember right, had enlisted into such a program.

8 posted on 02/16/2009 8:26:25 AM PST by squidly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

This is a fast track to citizenship I can at least be comfortable with. If they’re willing to sacrifice more than the vast majority of Americans do for their new country, then I have no problem with making them citizens.


9 posted on 02/16/2009 8:26:41 AM PST by The Pack Knight (Duty, Honor, Country)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: squidly

That is my recollection as well.

Had an Iraqi in my unit that was doing this.


10 posted on 02/16/2009 8:27:44 AM PST by ltc8k6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
>Why don’t they just create the “American Foreign Legion”.

You mean the American Legion of Foreigners (ALF), right?

11 posted on 02/16/2009 8:27:55 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

It worked OK for the French and British. I seem to recall that the Hessian mercenaries used in the American revolution were exemplary - NOT!


12 posted on 02/16/2009 8:28:00 AM PST by CholeraJoe (Caution: Middle-aged man with KoRn on MP3 player and power saw.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad
Sounds like Starship Troopers come to life.

The only way for people in that world to have citizenship was to join the military.

13 posted on 02/16/2009 8:29:25 AM PST by Nachum (Obama theme song: Ball of Confusion by the Temptations)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

My father-in-law became a US citizen in much this manner circa WWII.

He served the duration of the war, and then some, with mutiple tours in Europe and Korea.


14 posted on 02/16/2009 8:29:28 AM PST by MeanWestTexan (Beware Obama's Reichstag fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MikeWUSAF

So all of the Palestinian refugees Obama has told to come to the US now get to join “his” army?


15 posted on 02/16/2009 8:31:57 AM PST by nuance4u
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The Pack Knight

FReepmail


16 posted on 02/16/2009 8:32:02 AM PST by indcons (An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: squidly

I think they get a provisional green card or somesuch.


17 posted on 02/16/2009 8:33:15 AM PST by MeanWestTexan (Beware Obama's Reichstag fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MeanWestTexan

At least they are using a legal avenue. If they are willing to put their lives on the line to become Americans, provided their backgrounds check out, I have no problem with it.


18 posted on 02/16/2009 8:33:58 AM PST by Blogger (Christians- Remember Nineveh.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: qam1

Actually, it worked for the Romans for about 300 years. The Romans enlisted subject peoples as specialists, notably cavalrymen from Gaul,Batavians [who were instrumental in conquering Britain] as auxilliaries. After serving 25 years, they received Roman citizenship.

The problem later was that the Romans enlisted foederatii directly into the Legions, because Romans were no longer signing up to serve in the necessary numbers. The Romans also stifled assimilation, and reneged on bargains with the tribes they enlisted [usually for land].


19 posted on 02/16/2009 8:36:28 AM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

“Skilled immigrants.” In other words, democrat voters. Hussein is creating a force of left wing, anti-American, pro-democratic party mercenaries, trained and equipped at taxpayers expense. These will be the new brownshirts, the Hussein Gestapo, working only for his best interests, not for those of the nation. This is scary stuff.


20 posted on 02/16/2009 8:37:06 AM PST by Oldpuppymax (AGENDA OF THE LEFT EXPOSED)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Pack Knight
If they’re willing to sacrifice more than the vast majority of Americans do for their new country, then I have no problem with making them citizens.

Today's immigrants aren't coming here to be Americans. They stubbornly insist on maintaining their old national identity and culture. Their loyalty lies where they came from and makes them a security risk.

21 posted on 02/16/2009 8:37:28 AM PST by Spirochete
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Oldpuppymax

22 posted on 02/16/2009 8:39:34 AM PST by lewisglad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Spirochete

Someone who came by means of volunteering for the Army in wartime are likely to be far more loyal and Americanized than the average immigrant.

As well, if I was writing the law, I would require that they renounce their former citizenship upon enlistment.


23 posted on 02/16/2009 8:41:29 AM PST by furquhart (Well, at least we might get the Cold War back...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
Why don't they just create the “American Foreign Legion”.

What a great idea. Have a large armed force willing to do anything the president says regardless of constitutionality. Want to send in the military to stop domestic protests, send in the foreign legion. They won't hesitate to shoot US citizens in the US.

24 posted on 02/16/2009 8:46:29 AM PST by Paleo Conservative (If the feds can't competently handle the DTV transition, why should we trust them with health care?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, what a clever way to get foreigners into our military . . . more willing to deal with . . . troublesome civilians . . . when the time soonish comes.

I’d put a /sar if it was sar. . . . but it ain’t.


25 posted on 02/16/2009 8:48:52 AM PST by Quix (LEADRs SAY FRM 1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

Obama should create whole infantry divisions of foreigners. They wont hesitate to fire on American demonstrators when conservatives eventually take to the streets.


26 posted on 02/16/2009 8:50:58 AM PST by DogBarkTree (Sometimes you have to let it go in order to get a Grip.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oldpuppymax
You forget what the drill sergeants do for a living.

Destroy any semblence of individuality, rebuild a confidence and teamwork ethic and pride second to none.

27 posted on 02/16/2009 8:53:16 AM PST by Pistolshot ("Democrats don't show respect, they just demand respect " - ClearCase_guy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: DieHard the Hunter; dfwgator; lewisglad

IIRC it used to take 10 years in the Foreign Legion to achieve French citizenship. That seemed too long, but 6 months seems like it might be too rapid.


28 posted on 02/16/2009 8:59:01 AM PST by wideminded
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

We could certainly form several Pancho Villa brigades quite easily.


29 posted on 02/16/2009 9:01:08 AM PST by Eternal_Bear (`)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OneWingedShark
You mean the American Legion of Foreigners (ALF), right?

Guess we'll have to breed a lot of cats to feed them. ;)

30 posted on 02/16/2009 9:02:13 AM PST by dfwgator (1996 2006 2008 - Good Things Come in Threes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Spirochete

Yeah, but don’t you think military service might help clear that concern up a little?


31 posted on 02/16/2009 9:02:17 AM PST by The Pack Knight (Duty, Honor, Country)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: MikeWUSAF

Yes, that’s true, especially within certain professions. many who come from India have engineering and medical degrees the average U.S. military enlistee does not. The military is concentrating on acquiring those in medical professions and linguists, particularly South Asian languages like Urdu and Pashtun. The Hindi language, for instance, has many similarities to Urdu, except in written form.

I’m pretty sure there are very few such linguists amongst the average group of those enlisting into the Marines based upon my conversations with MARSOC (Special Operations Command, U. S. Marine Forces) personnel. MARSOC folks have actually asked me for names of young naturalized Americans who can speak at least five of the major dialects of Chinese.


32 posted on 02/16/2009 9:06:26 AM PST by 12Gauge687 (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

Juan Valdez thinking to himself: “Let’s see...I can join the U.S. Army now, risk getting shot for a nation I hold no allegiance to and gain citizenship in 6 months while I serve out my enlistment or I can stand around on any U.S street corner without being bothered and automatically become a full fledged citizen and child of the welfare state via amnesty in half that time...


33 posted on 02/16/2009 9:07:18 AM PST by TADSLOS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

Why is this appearing on the Times of India, but not elsewhere? Why no American papers?


34 posted on 02/16/2009 9:17:21 AM PST by Military family member (GO Colts!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad
Hmmmm. Outsource our military?

Remember what became of the Romans?

35 posted on 02/16/2009 9:19:09 AM PST by Minutemen ("It's a Religion of Peace")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Military family member

Supposedly it was buried in the Sunday New York Times edition.


36 posted on 02/16/2009 9:21:09 AM PST by lewisglad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

US military will open its doors to skilled immigrant guest workers (such as those who hold H-1B visas) who have lived in the US for a minimum of two years.

With the citizenship will they lose their H-1B visa, and their job?


37 posted on 02/16/2009 9:22:52 AM PST by chainsaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: furquhart
Someone who came by means of volunteering for the Army in wartime are likely to be far more loyal and Americanized than the average immigrant.

What about middle-eastern immigrants? Bosnian or Albanian immigrants? What about immigrants from Indonesia or Somalia?

38 posted on 02/16/2009 9:23:27 AM PST by Spirochete
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

6 month seems like a very short time..

I think people are over reacting big time. These foreigners will be spread between hundreds of units.

This system worked incredibly well for Romans, Auxilia had Roman officers and ranks filled with non-citizens who after a 25 years would get full citizenship. Problems started when Rome started using units that were completely foreign and commanded by foreigners. When it worked typical legion would have same numbers of Auxilia attached to it as the numbers of it’s main body of heavy infantry. You would have slingers and archers, cavalry (which in general would be higher quality then native Roman cavalry), all kinds of lighter infantry used to protect flanks and such.

Brits have some great examples of similar system with Ghurka, British officers serving alongside native troops. The native qualities combined with British discipline etc very effective.


39 posted on 02/16/2009 9:26:51 AM PST by dimk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lewisglad

> The program is particularly germane to Indian guest workers who constitute the largest segment of skilled foreign workers in the US, and although Spanish-speaking Latinos constitute the largest group of immigrants, they are largely unskilled.

Well, at least they were honest about the Latinos. I still remember my friends who are Punjabi and Hindi and they had engineering degrees from India but could only drive taxis here. One of them started a laser company that now has a grant from the DOD.


40 posted on 02/16/2009 9:27:48 AM PST by max americana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: bcsco

for the AFIRE ping list

It looks like this has been a long time in planning. And also, the recruitment targets have all been met, so this is another manufactured crisis.


41 posted on 02/16/2009 9:31:28 AM PST by Kevmo ( It's all over for this Country as a Constitutional Republic. ~Leo Donofrio, 12/14/08)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

“Why don’t they just create the “American Foreign Legion”.

That would be better. You have to complete an entire hitch in the French Foreign Legion before you get French citizenship.


42 posted on 02/16/2009 9:53:26 AM PST by dsc (A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: The Pack Knight

My thoughts exactly!


43 posted on 02/16/2009 9:54:20 AM PST by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: squidly

“I knew a Filipino guy who, if I remember right, had enlisted into such a program.”

It made them eligible to apply for citizenship, and, barring any impediments, they were generally approved. It wasn’t automatic, though.

The Navy, at least, had such a program from soon after War II. Not sure about before that or after 1999.


44 posted on 02/16/2009 9:57:00 AM PST by dsc (A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MikeWUSAF
I'm thinking the foreign guest workers, those with particular skills, NOT just the migrant agricultural or construction workers, ARE likely more educated than the typical American who enlists right out of high school. That's not putting down the American recruits, it's just a fact.

There will always be more American recruits than the guest workers, anyway, and the military has been known for decades to be a way into the middle and upper class, for those with limited skills, who aspire to it.

45 posted on 02/16/2009 9:58:58 AM PST by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
We did have a program like this in the 1950s, but President Eisenhower closed it.
46 posted on 02/16/2009 10:00:17 AM PST by GAB-1955 (Kicking and Screaming into the Kingdom of Heaven!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DogBarkTree
You're assuming the Army will form an all-foreign unit. They won't.
47 posted on 02/16/2009 10:02:45 AM PST by GAB-1955 (Kicking and Screaming into the Kingdom of Heaven!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: squidly; ltc8k6
When I was in the military in the 1990s, I could have sworn that there was a program which allowed foreigners to enlist and achieve citizenship upon completion of a 4 year enlistment term. I knew a Filipino guy who, if I remember right, had enlisted into such a program.

Correct. Programs of this type have been going on at least since the '70's. I have seen Koreans, Hispanics, Filipinos, Croatians, and Cambodians (to name a few) become citizens in this manner.

48 posted on 02/16/2009 10:06:03 AM PST by Sarajevo (You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Quix
Ahhhhhhhhhhh, what a clever way to get foreigners into our military . . . more willing to deal with . . . troublesome civilians . . . when the time soonish comes.

I’d put a /sar if it was sar. . . . but it ain’t.

I don't know why you'd make such a post. It's BS!

49 posted on 02/16/2009 10:08:11 AM PST by Sarajevo (You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Sarajevo

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .

And . . . you say that . . . because

. . . being the super informed person that you seem to want to appear to be . . .

you HAVE READ

at least 50% of the quotes of our leaders the last 100 years ref’d in my tagline:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81

AND you have JUST ARBITRARILY DECIDED ON YOUR OWN WISDOM

that they were ALL LYING????

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo impressive.

I bow to your brilliance.


50 posted on 02/16/2009 10:10:32 AM PST by Quix (LEADRs SAY FRM 1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-93 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson