Thursday, March 20, 2008
Helen O'Neill has a thoughtful piece on Academic Ink on the bittersweet grant of citiznship to U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. According to the story, more than 100 foreign-born members of the U.S. military earned American citizenship by dying in Iraq:
"Jose Gutierrez was one of the first to fall, killed by friendly fire in the dust of Umm Qasr in the opening hours of the invasion. In death, the young Marine was showered with honors his family could only have dreamed of in life. His sister was flown in from Guatemala for his memorial service, where a Roman Catholic cardinal presided and top military officials saluted his flag-draped coffin. And yet, his foster mother agonized as she accompanied his body back for burial in Guatemala City: Why did Jose have to die for America in order to truly belong? Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, who oversaw Gutierrez's service, put it differently. "There is something terribly wrong with our immigration policies if it takes death on the battlefield in order to earn citizenship," Mahony wrote to President Bush in April 2003. He urged the president to grant immediate citizenship to all immigrants who sign up for military service in wartime."
IntLawGrrl's Diane Amann highlights the Cardinal Mahony quote in this story in a "`Nuff said" feature.
For a CNN story about an immigrant soldier, click here.