Illegal Mexican immigrant who fought in Iraq facing deportation from US


Thu Nov 13

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A 19-year-old Mexican who used a false residence permit to enlist in the US army and fight in Iraq (news - web sites) may be kicked out of the force and even be deported, his lawyer, military and immigration officials said.

Juan Escalante, whose parents brought him here from Mexico at the age of four, enlisted in the army in 2002 after finishing high school in Seattle, his family's immigration attorney Glen Prior said. The forged green card that allowed him to do so cost him 50 dollars.

Escalante trained as a mechanic, serving in Iraq from March to September in the Third Infantry Division, said Richard Olson, a spokesman at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where the soldier is based.

The army discovered the teenager's status during a court hearing for his parents who are claiming residency under a program for illegal immigrants who have lived here for more than 10 years. The couple say their two children, aged 10 and 12, who were born here, would face problems if deported.

A judge has rejected Bernardo and Silvia Escalante's claim. And if they lose their appeal, they will be deported, said Prior, who is based in Fife, Washington.

The Mexican soldier is also facing possible deportation.

"If he came in under his parents, he potentially could be asked to leave the country as a result of that ... it's all up to the immigration judge," said Garrison Courtney, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

However, although the army appears to want to keep Escalante, it has no desire to encourage fraud and is concerned at the breach of national security the case reveals, including a potential entry point for terrorists.

"We're inclined to keep him in the army, that's what the unit wants to do," said Olson. "He's doing his job, he's doing it well, the unit wants to retain him in the army and he wants to be retained in the army.

"That's basically what we've asked for," he added.

Until now, the army has kept Escalante on active duty and provided him with a military lawyer to help him seek citizenship.

Asked if he could be discharged, army spokesman Joe Burlas replied, "absolutely".

"We allow legal aliens to enlist in the army," Burlas notes. "We have about 10,750 as of the end of July. But they must be legal immigrants.

"Any time that there is a frauded enlisting and we find out that to be the case, the chain of command is required to initiate a fraud enlistment discharge" proceeding, he explained.

Meanwhile, Prior suggests that Escalante may benefit from an executive order signed in July by US President George W. Bush (news - web sites), to accelerate citizenship for foreigners enlisted in the armed forces, instead of having them serve the mandatory basic five-year residency requirement.

The order addresses the case of foreigners in general but does not mention illegal residency issues. And no one is allowed into the armed forces without a green card.

"If the military decides to discharge him dishonorably for entering the military through a fraudulent card, and if he's discharged dishonorably, he's not eligible for citizenship, but so far the military has not decided that," Prior added.

"I'm optimistic for Juan," he said, noting that the parents' case is still in doubt.

The Escalantes are far from being alone in their residency case.

Jose Gutierrez, 22, who died in Iraq in March, was an illegal Guatemalan immigrant, as the Pentagon (news - web sites) found out after he was killed, Burlas noted.

He suggested that similar cases may yet emerge.

Around 37,000 foreigners are enlisted in the US forces, 10,750 in the army, in possession of a green card, according to the Pentagon, some 10,000 of them Latin American in origin.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20031113/ts_alt_afp/us_mexico_latam_iraq&cid=1506&ncid=1473


Illegal, noun:

A term used by the descendents of European Immigrants to refer to descendants of Native Americans


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Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by Lofton:

Well Ricardomath,

The very first paragraph says a mouth full.

"WASHINGTON (AFP) - A 19-year-old Mexican who used a false residence permit to enlist in the US army and fight in Iraq (news - web sites) may be kicked out of the force and even be deported, his lawyer, military and immigration officials said."

This being said, I don't see any use in reviving the thread, because unlike you, I do not support the rights of illegal immigrants who use fraudulent means to obtain a driver's license, enlist in the military, collect welfare benefits, etc., privileges granted to U.S. citizens, and legal immigrants, which are not supposed to be granted to illegal and undocumented immigrants.



https://www.africanamerica.org/groupee/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=60260642&f=79160213&m=716707001&p=2

Well Lofton,

Consider this thread revived. It seems a better solution than the two of us continuing to spam the other thread with posts unrelated to the topic.

You quote a paragraph from the story. Let me call your paragraph with another paragraph from the story, about somebody who, if I recall correctly, was one of the first US casualty of the war with Iraq, and raise you with a story about him from 60 MINUTES:

quote:
Jose Gutierrez, 22, who died in Iraq in March, was an illegal Guatemalan immigrant, as the Pentagon (news - web sites) found out after he was killed, Burlas noted.



Here's the story from CBS NEWS 60 MINUTES:

quote:

The Death Of Lance Cpl. Gutierrez


Aug. 20, 2003


U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez was one of the first U.S. servicemen to die in combat in Iraq. (Photo: CBS/60 Minutes II)

Jose and the nine other green card holders who died in Iraq have prompted a number of congressional proposals that would make it quicker and easier for non-citizens to become Americans when they join the military.


Correspondent Bob Simon returned to Jose's hometown, a slum outside Guatemala City. (Photo: CBS)

(CBS) Did you know that approximately 38,000 Americans in uniform are not American citizens – and that at least 10 men who have been killed in Iraq were not U.S. citizens?

That sounds astonishing, but in fact, it's nothing new. It's been like that in every war the United States has fought, from Valley Forge to Vietnam.

But, as 60 Minutes II first reported earlier this year, the heroism and sacrifice of non-citizens was barely known "” until Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez died in battle in Iraq.

He came from Guatemala, and he came to the United States illegally. Correspondent Bob Simon reports.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We can tell you how his story ended. He was killed in a tank battle in southern Iraq on March 21.

We can also tell you how his story began. It began in a slum outside Guatemala City. We can't show you any pictures of Jose, at least not when he was a boy. Jose was orphaned when he was 8 years old and became a street child. Street children in Guatemala do not get their pictures taken.

America will remember Jose as handsome and heroic. But before Bruce Harris met him, he was homeless and helpless - what Latinos call "the dust of the earth."

Bruce Harris began running Guatemala's Casa Alianza orphanage - that's Covenant House in Spanish - shortly after Jose was taken there at the age of 9. Today, Harris directs all their operations in Central America and fights for children so fiercely that Queen Elizabeth invested him into the exclusive Order of the British Empire, in his native England.

"He was really a survivor, and that's how he made it up to United States, because he was a survivor," says Harris.

"He wasn't satisfied in trying to etch out a subsistence survival in a country like Guatemala, where more than 80 percent of the people are poor. He wanted more. He knew there was more to life than just being poor, so in 1997 Jose said he was leaving for America."

It was a 3,000-mile trail of tears by foot, by tire, and by train. It was a modern version of an underground railway, and the last leg was over the wall.

But when Jose made it to the border, he got busted. He was 22 years old and the INS was going to turn him back. Saved by his baby face, Jose told the authorities he was only 16. Minors don't get turned back, so he was allowed to stay in America and get a green card.

"Once he crossed the border and he had to lie to get in, some people say, 'Well, that's not very good,'" says Harris. "I mean, it's not something that we would prefer, but he knew that to survive, if he'd said he was 21, he'd be thrown back with the tens of thousands of wetbacks, a derogatory term used on that side of the border towards people who want to survive."

His pilgrimage continued through a series of foster homes - one after another. But, once again, he got lucky. He wound up in Torrance, Calif., with Nora and Marcello Mosquera, both Latin American immigrants. They not only took him in, they loved him and called him their son.

"My son told me many, many times, he said, ˜Mom, I don't know why God has me in this world, and why I have survived so many.' I mean, he for many, many times in Guatemala and so forth, he was very close to being killed,'" remembers Nora Mosquera.

"He wanted to be an architect. 'And everyone is going to remember who I am. And you're going to be very proud of me.'"

Jose was a kid who lost both parents when he was very young. But he had such a positive attitude, says Nora Mosquera.

"You find children that, when they encounter so many problems in their early childhood, they either go the right path or the wrong path," says Mosquera. "Either they make things stronger. A fight or a soldier to get ahead, and become someone in life. Or they go down the wrong road. I think with Jose, all his experiences made him stronger. A stronger person. A fighter. A leader."

Jose was one of more than 20 foster children taken in by the Mosqueras, but he became a real brother to the Mosquera daughters, Lillian and Jackie.

Jackie remembers Jose as a silly, happy brother who loved the Beatles and used to make fun of the song "Hey Jude."

"'Hey Jude' came on and he's sitting there, singing, ˜Hey Dude.' I'm like, ˜Jose, it's not Hey Dude. It's Hey Jude,'" remembers sister Jackie, laughing. "And by the end of the song, we were all singing ... Hey Dude."

Jose went to a community college, played soccer there and then dropped out last year to join the Marines. He was not an unusual recruit. Most Marines are only high school graduates, most are working class, and many are Hispanic. And when a green card holder joins the military, he can apply for citizenship after three years, instead of five.

But Jose told his mother he had other reasons for joining - other reasons for wanting to go to Iraq and help topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

"I cannot stand having a regime do to women and children what this regime is doing in Iraq. And I'll give my life if I have to, in order to defend those children," Nora remembered Jose telling her.

"Those are the ideals of the Marines. And those were his ideals, of becoming someone. Of being able to help those other children that are not as fortunate as he was. Of finding a family and coming to the U.S."

His sister Jackie also thinks Jose wanted to achieve an education.

"Originally, I think it was to finish his education, go in, do his time, finish his education," says Jackie. "And also, give back, you know, somewhat of what he's taken."

He gave back, all right. Jose was one of the first U.S. servicemen to die in combat.

No death of any soldier goes unmourned. But the death of a man who died for a country that was not his -- that proved especially poignant to many Americans, including President Bush who visited two wounded non-citizen soldiers and made them citizens on the spot.

Jose was also granted American citizenship posthumously, and that's also when he became a hero. A cardinal officiated at a memorial service in a Los Angeles suburb, where many poor people, including Latinos, attended.

"Isn't it amazing that those are not acknowledged as citizens here are the ones that are doing that hard work for the country," remembers Jose's parish priest, Gustavo Castillo. "Doing the fighting and risking their lives."

"He is a hero now. And it's unfortunate sometimes that that's what has to happen in order for people to be known, in order for them to accomplish something."

Jose may be considered an American hero. But how about in Guatemala? It's a little more complicated. Jose told his family that he wanted to be buried there. It was, after all, his home. The Marines came down to give Jose a proper military farewell, but there were hardly any Guatemalans at the ceremony. After all, officials said, he didn't die for Guatemala.

"One group felt that these young Hispanic men were being sent as cannon fodder into the battlefield, because at first, many of the U.S. Marines who were killed were Latinos." says Harris, who mourned the death of Jose, an orphan he lifted off the streets of Guatemala nearly 25 years ago.

"That created a big question here. Are young Hispanic men who go up to the United States looking for future, for education? Are they being sent to the front because they're dispensable?"

Harris believes that Guatemalans now view Jose as both a victim and a hero.

"It's always a very difficult situation. I mean, we've looked at how we use the terminology. Having been for years the throwaway kid, the rubbish of society, who are we now to question that he should be called a hero after living so many years as a nothing," says Harris. "But it's a high price to pay for a title."

The U.S. government bought Gutierrez a plot in Guatemala's ritziest cemetery, probably making him the first kid from the slums ever buried there. But this is where Harris wanted him buried, in a plot reserved for Casa Alianza kids – the street children – of which Jose was one.

Another neighborhood. Another kind of cemetery. And there is also a plaque there in memory of Jose.

"It is important for him to be here. It is his home," says Harris. "Not manicured, not nice trees, but this is where his people are. Beautiful poem: Here I am, Lord but I cannot arrive without your hand. Take me because I want to know your beautiful face. Excuse my errors but I want to share your beautiful heart. I am yours, Lord. Take me home."

And, at home in America, where Jose saw his future, he is finally a citizen. And he didn't have to wait three years to apply. Right now, Congress is considering several proposals that will make it quicker and easier for green card holders to become Americans when they join the military.

His family, however, is saddened that Jose wasn't able to see it become a reality.

"Hopefully, by taking these examples of these kids coming home in boxes and giving it to them," says Lillian. "Hopefully, this will show Congress, or someone in the White house, to let these immigrants that are fighting for us have the privilege to enjoy being an American citizen in their daily lives - instead of coming home in body bags."

Jose was also a poet. Here's part of a poem he wrote before he joined the Marines:

"I come from far away where the angels live in misery, dress themselves in filth and eat dreams."

The toughest thing about covering Jose's story is that we never got to meet him.

Jose and the nine other green card holders who died in Iraq have prompted a number of congressional proposals that would make it quicker and easier for non-citizens to become Americans when they join the military.

Several weeks after 60 Minutes II first broadcast this story, the U.S. military revealed the cause of Gutierrez's death. It was not from Iraqi guns, but friendly fire, from his fellow Americans.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Mosquera family plans to establish a scholarship fund in the memory of U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez. Scholarships will be set up at Los Angeles Harbor College, North High School, and Wendy's Kids, an organization for foster kids in Los Angeles.

Please send an email to josesfamily@yahoo.com for more information.

© MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.



http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/04/23/60II/main550779.shtml

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Well ricardomath,

Since the defense of illegal and undocumented immigrants is your project carry on.

Again, this is not my interest, especially since illegal and undocumented immigrants receive better treatment than truly law abiding U.S. citizens of Black American heritage who have earned the right to be here by birth, by extreme sacrifice, etc., to which this perverted activity of pushing for the rights of illegal and undocumented immigrants over the rights of truly law abiding U.S. citizens, is even promoted by some of Black America's own elected leadership.

This is not to say that illegal and undocumented immigrants should not be treated fairly, but rather my interest is restricted to the rights of the law abiding, first and foremost.

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton
Lofton, I see your point, but to counter point that our citizenship was only granted because of the need for cheap labor after the Civil War as an appeasement. I feel sorry for illegal immigrants because there is no productive industry in Mexico except the exportation of her people. Monies made by illegals or most any immigrant on a green card goes back to their country of origin to help support their families. In addition if black americans were truly citizens then, why is our right to vote, our supposed 'Civil Rights' legislated about every 8 years? I just wanted to give you something to think about.
I'm glad you're a law abiding citizen who assumedly has integrity.

Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society
Malcolm X, 1965
I find it odd when black people speak from a white person's premise and try to hold the same scorn and disdain for others that was held for their own parents....i always thought black people knew better.....but it seems as if many of us turned out to be a bad imitation of our historical opressors.....and as so far as an illegal immigrant in Congress.....that is the silliest shit that I have heard in a while......black people cannot be in the business of being pre-occupied with placing limits on others or defining their rights, when we have not gained full and truthful equality in americ our gotdamn selves.......
This has always been story filled with sorrow. The children frequently lose. The parents know this when they take the risk. The persons-of-power in the government know this when they refuse to change the system.

Everyone, except the children, knows illegal is illegal.

But the government does not stop the flow of illegal immigrants. And it's not like it can't be done.

The same applies to illegal drugs. We can't stop it??????

The system is functioning the way the government wants it to function.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I must agree that I cannot understand for the life of me how African Americans of all people can take a bigoted or racist stance against any other minority or oppressed people.

Also, I think that Americans often forget that Mexicans are just as much Native Americans (as in native of North America) as the Apache, Cherokee, or Souix; this was their continent first; poor struggling Mexicans had no say in putting a fence across their country and calling the other side Texas.
sunnubian: I agree with your stand. I also am not taking your comments personally.

I think we, as Americans and African American-Americans, face an important issue here. The nation has allowed a wrong to go untreated for years, maybe more than a generation. I think this has been done for selfish reasons, economic and political.

I also think we are faced with coming to a decision on what is illegal. I don't think it has anything to do with xenophobia, or bigotry. The decision gets painted with that brush, but there is a core issue here.

It addresses the issue of all illegal immigrants.

What do we do? Is nothing an option?

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I just think that African Americans should be neutral at best regarding immigration, legal or illegal of any oppressed people trying to come to this country in an effort to better themselves or even for survival. Although, Mexicans, in particular, in my opinion, should be viewed differently, even still, considering that "America" or this country or continent IS their native land as well.

I really do not see why some type of immigration or temporary visa program could not be drawn up by both governments in order for Mexicans to come and go freely to work or to go to school here in the states, without fear and deception and exploitation of illegal immigration. That way both sides would benefit in the end while eliminating most of the horror associated with illegal immigration.
I understand the sentiment. But free movement is one thing. Isn't that what we do now with Canada. A lot of Canadians work in Detroit, for example. But school, and other infrastructure burdens is another thing. Who pays? Residency also creates another burden. Who pays? And I understand payroll deduction. But residency without work?

I also think documentation without documentation, as it were, such as driver's licensing opens the door to the underbelly of access in our society.

There has to be a limit.

Remember, Mexico fought a war. Mexico lost.

What are you saying to international law? Give it back?

Having it. Contolling it. Owning it. These are reasons the war was fought. Had Mexico won, do you honestly think they would do what you are suggesting we do?

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I believe that there should be a check and balance type system of allowing so many that are coming for the right thing, such as work or school to go to and from. Much like the system we have with Canada. I think that would aid in eliminating those who are not coming for the right reasons. Also, if they are working, then wages could be taken out to contribute to fringe benefits Americans are allowed that they enjoy while here. There could even be an extra tax on working foreigners. There should be extra taxes on American corporations that go south to take advantage of low wage workers to further assist.

I do not suggest that we give the country back, just that when taking things like this into consideration, that we look at the big picture, the entire concert of things that form the entire picture, not just the minute portion that can only be seen with tunnel vision. It it primarily what African Americans need for people to see or how we need for people to look at the poitrait of African American in order to understand how the entirety effects any single thing, circumstance or phenomenon.
It's solution worth considering. They are not going to stop coming. We are not going to stop letting them.

The illegality needs to be dealt with, particularly considering the inherent threat from ligitimate terrorism.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

"I find it odd when black people speak from a white person's premise and try to hold the same scorn and disdain for others that was held for their own parents....i always thought black people knew better.....but it seems as if many of us turned out to be a bad imitation of our historical oppressors.....and as so far as an illegal immigrant in Congress.....that is the silliest shit that I have heard in a while......black people cannot be in the business of being pre-occupied with placing limits on others or defining their rights, when we have not gained full and truthful equality in americ our gotdamn selves......." by Kevin41

....In Los Angeles County Jail, the Prison system, and the Streets, the Mexican Mafia has given its membership the green light to execute Black people.

Hispanic America is about Hispanic issues which doesn't include Black folks. There is no such thing as any happy relationship between Black people and Hispanics in California!

Taking into account Kevin41's response, Kevin41 chooses to infer that Black people hold disdain for, scorn, and/or are the bigotted party, when in reality, Hispanics like any other ethnic group seek to promote their own advancement, first and foremost. The exception to the rule of promoting interests to move a people forward, some Black people evidently live in "La La Land", if it is their belief that they are going to control the destiny of every other community but the Black community.


....speaking of the Mexican Mafia...
"Like any prison system in the country, if the inmates want to take a facility on a given day, they will do it," Gomez said. Some white inmates in the "B" facility, in letters to friends and spouses, theorized the Latinos retaliated in fear the African Americans were getting ready to assert control over the exercise yard. They wonder how the Latinos were able to get so many weapons onto the yard, according to two correctional officers who have been in contact with the African American inmates since the prison was locked down the day of the disturbance. One prison employee said that after officers ordered the yard down, the Latino inmates crawled along the ground to stab the African Americans. Prison officials strongly disputed the suggestion that staff sided with either faction or was inadvertent, at least, in missing the weapons during the random pat-down search that preceded yard time. They take note of racial conflict, and the prison system is faced with processing a diversity of 110,000 inmates in and 100"


Speaking of Diversity!

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton

[This message was edited by Lofton on December 27, 2003 at 08:22 PM.]
DIVIDED AND CONQUERED.....BOTH GROUPS IN CALIFORNIA.........MEXICAN MAFIA/CRIPS & BLOODS...THE BY-PRODUCTS OF SYSTEMATIC POVERTY BOTH GROUPS HAVE BEEN HISTORICALLY RELEGATED TO.....THE BIGGER PICTURE IS....WHAT MOTIVTATED THESE GROUPS TO BE FORMED AND HOW DID SOCIETY ALLOW THEM TO GROW TO THIS PROPORTION? I GUESS IT IS ONLY BLACKS AND MEXICANS...NO BIG LOST TO ANYONE WHEN THEY MURDER EACH OTHER..........THE BIGGER PICTURE.....
Thank you Kevin.

I am sure that every Mexican in California is not a member of the Mexican Mafia any more than every African American in California is not a member of the Bloods or Crips.

All the minorities in this country and all the oppressed peoples of the entire world are suffering more as a result of the "divide and conquer" psychological propaganda than from any other tactics used to keep the masses oppressed, controlled and at the mercy of their oppressor.
Gee, when the African came here, he came here as an American?? An American-American?? Where's the papers that make that a fact? I don't have nary one stating the first American, forget the second one. I have a birth certificate and a SS card. That's it!! So, therefore, I guess I'm an AFRICAN-IN-AMERICA. Since I'm 'puter challenged, will someone please, forward a picture of the African's citizenship's papers?? Thanks. Gonna go out and get mine quick!!!

***********
The petty bourgeoisie are the first to sell out. When they obtain status their lives generally lose both content and significance. - Black Consciousness
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:

Illegal Mexican immigrant who fought in Iraq facing deportation from US


Thu Nov 13

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A 19-year-old Mexican who used a false residence permit to enlist in the US army and fight in Iraq (news - web sites) may be kicked out of the force and even be deported, his lawyer, military and immigration officials said.

Juan Escalante, whose parents brought him here from Mexico at the age of four, enlisted in the army in 2002 after finishing high school in Seattle, his family's immigration attorney Glen Prior said. The forged green card that allowed him to do so cost him 50 dollars.

Escalante trained as a mechanic, serving in Iraq from March to September in the Third Infantry Division, said Richard Olson, a spokesman at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where the soldier is based.

The army discovered the teenager's status during a court hearing for his parents who are claiming residency under a program for illegal immigrants who have lived here for more than 10 years. The couple say their two children, aged 10 and 12, who were born here, would face problems if deported.

A judge has rejected Bernardo and Silvia Escalante's claim. And if they lose their appeal, they will be deported, said Prior, who is based in Fife, Washington.

The Mexican soldier is also facing possible deportation.

"If he came in under his parents, he potentially could be asked to leave the country as a result of that ... it's all up to the immigration judge," said Garrison Courtney, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

However, although the army appears to want to keep Escalante, it has no desire to encourage fraud and is concerned at the breach of national security the case reveals, including a potential entry point for terrorists.

"We're inclined to keep him in the army, that's what the unit wants to do," said Olson. "He's doing his job, he's doing it well, the unit wants to retain him in the army and he wants to be retained in the army.

"That's basically what we've asked for," he added.

Until now, the army has kept Escalante on active duty and provided him with a military lawyer to help him seek citizenship.

Asked if he could be discharged, army spokesman Joe Burlas replied, "absolutely".

"We allow legal aliens to enlist in the army," Burlas notes. "We have about 10,750 as of the end of July. But they must be legal immigrants.

"Any time that there is a frauded enlisting and we find out that to be the case, the chain of command is required to initiate a fraud enlistment discharge" proceeding, he explained.

Meanwhile, Prior suggests that Escalante may benefit from an executive order signed in July by US President George W. Bush (news - web sites), to accelerate citizenship for foreigners enlisted in the armed forces, instead of having them serve the mandatory basic five-year residency requirement.

The order addresses the case of foreigners in general but does not mention illegal residency issues. And no one is allowed into the armed forces without a green card.

"If the military decides to discharge him dishonorably for entering the military through a fraudulent card, and if he's discharged dishonorably, he's not eligible for citizenship, but so far the military has not decided that," Prior added.

"I'm optimistic for Juan," he said, noting that the parents' case is still in doubt.

The Escalantes are far from being alone in their residency case.

Jose Gutierrez, 22, who died in Iraq in March, was an illegal Guatemalan immigrant, as the Pentagon (news - web sites) found out after he was killed, Burlas noted.

He suggested that similar cases may yet emerge.

Around 37,000 foreigners are enlisted in the US forces, 10,750 in the army, in possession of a green card, according to the Pentagon, some 10,000 of them Latin American in origin.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/2003...q&cid=1506&ncid=1473


Illegal, noun:

A term used by the descendents of European Immigrants to refer to descendants of Native Americans


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Maybe they should be given Iraqi Citizenship as well.
Tony

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