Let Immigrant Soldiers Protect and Serve America

Target: James Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defense

Goal Don’t deny immigrants the right to serve in the military.

Up to 10,000 men and women who protect and defend the United States are in danger of an abrupt military discharge. Many more may be deprived of the opportunity to serve. This latest controversy seemingly represents the Trump administration’s latest assault on immigrants.

The military las long sought recruits who can speak various languages and acclimate to different cultures, deeming these individuals assets during challenging times. To bolster the number of desirable recruits, both Republican and Democratic presidents in the past have supported an “expedited naturalization” program in which immigrants holding temporary visas, or in the process of obtaining citizenship, could be granted citizenship through honorable military service.

In recent weeks, however, immigrants have been denied entry into this program. Those who are serving have received discharge papers on the grounds that they are suddenly “security risks.” In many cases, “security risk” equates to having a relative who lives abroad: a categorization millions of native-born Americans also happen to enjoy. Upon discharge, many recruits are not even provided the honorable discharge that could shield them from immediate deportation.

Immigrants have served and served honorably in every conflict large and small this country has endured. Sign the petition below to ensure their service and sacrifices are not dismissed.

PETITON LETTER:

Dear Secretary Mattis,

“I put my life on the line for this country, but I feel like I’m being treated like trash.”

As a lifelong military leader, how do you feel hearing these words and similar sentiments being uttered by former soldiers? The man who spoke this phrase still wants very much to serve this country that he considers his home, but he cannot because he was recently discharged.

Why was he discharged? Like so many alongside him, he committed the offense of being born in another country and of having relatives that still reside in that country. The MAVNI program, first ordered under a Republican administration, was once cited by the Defense Department as a way to “recognize…contributions and sacrifice” of immigrants who wanted to take part in defending the country they hoped to one day call home. Since then, enrollees in this program have gone on to serve, sacrifice, and many times receive awards for distinguished service (such as U.S. Army Soldier of the Year recipient Saral K. Shrestha).

The battlefield recognizes no racial or ethnic distinctions. Blood, sweat, and valor always flow the same. Do not deprive the military of critical assets, and do not deprive this country of individuals who would sacrifice so much to carry with pride the title of American.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Scott Sturko

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One Comment

  1. gen agustsson says:

    i disagree with this petition. we do not want more war and i demand to stop war right now!

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204 Signatures

  • Helen LeBrecht
  • William Edelman
  • Barbara Hilliard
  • Debbie Biere
  • Barbara Hargrove
  • Michael Schaffer
  • Emiko Kamitsuna
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