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10 November 2011

A Commitment to Those Who Serve Every Day

Although Veterans Day falls on November 11 each year, USCIS honors those who serve year round. We appreciate the many sacrifices service men and women make while protecting our country.

Naturalization Ceremonies Held in Honor of Veterans Day

Since 2001, USCIS has naturalized 75,000 U.S. veterans from every branch of the Armed Services at special military naturalization ceremonies. This year is no different. In honor of Veterans Day, we are holding 33 special naturalization ceremonies for individuals who swore to defend our country, even before they became its citizens.

One of these ceremonies took place aboard the USS Essex in Subic Bay, Manila where we naturalized 18 U.S. sailors. The sailors were in the Philippines as part of the 28th annual U.S.-Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercises.

The Presentation of the Colors on board the USS Essex (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

The Presentation of the Colors on board the USS Essex (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

Capt. Dave Fluker, Commanding Officer of the USS Essex, and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas Jr., spoke at the ceremony. Thomas noted that the sailors were among the many people enriching the fabric of our nation with their culture and traditions, as well as the sacrifices they make on behalf of our country.

The Oath of Allegiance is Administered in Subic Bay (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

The Oath of Allegiance is Administered in Subic Bay (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)

Two of the naturalized sailors were born and raised near Subic Bay, and then immigrated to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

A Proud Part of the Wider DHS Commitment to Veterans

At USCIS, and throughout the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), we are fortunate to count those who have served as friends and colleagues. Every day, veterans bring their skills, talents and experiences to bear on our many mission areas.

Because veterans play such an important role in our Department’s mission, Secretary Napolitano set a goal to employ 50,000 veterans at DHS by the end of 2012. We are proud that today, thanks to the commitment of individuals across the Department, we have reached that goal, more than a year ahead of schedule. Veterans now comprise 25 percent of our civilian workforce, in addition to the 49,000 active duty and reserve members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

To read more about the Department’s commitment to veterans, check out this blog post written by our Deputy Secretary, Jane Holl Lute, on The White House Blog.

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At November 14, 2011 at 2:14:00 PM EST , Anonymous samer said...

God Bless America

At November 14, 2011 at 3:11:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great for America. The Government acknowledge those who sacrifice their life for our freedom. We should forever be greatful to these heroes. God bless them all. And May God continue to bless the United States of America.

At November 14, 2011 at 4:49:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering how long it's gonna take for a veteran honorably discharged,and has completed the tests excellently to be called for the oath ceremony.It's been 2 years now in the waiting.Can somebody help me out?

At November 16, 2011 at 9:03:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous, you need to contact your U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative if you have not received your notice of oath ceremony.

At November 17, 2011 at 5:42:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the sons or daughters of the Philippines Veterans if they could also be given a chance to work in America or apply for U.S. citizenship?

At November 17, 2011 at 7:54:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless America

At November 21, 2011 at 9:40:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many Philippine veterans of World War II became US citizens. It is because they were recognized of their heroic acts. Recently, US citizen Philippine veterans were paid USD 15,000 and those not US citizen Philippine veterans were also paid USD 9,000. Several US lawmakers recognized Philippine veterans by including their children to become or acquire US citizenship many years ago but, seems many still neglected this rights. How soon others will change their mind and support those bills. How happy are we children if, a law will be enacted. I will be very grateful for the USA. Thank you...eddielaqs.

At November 30, 2011 at 7:27:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am posting this narrative on the Beacon to draw attention to the inequities under the INA, as it relates to the war fighters of this nation getting their family members into the country, as opposed to specific nationalities and their family members that are given favorable status to live and reside in the U.S. These include, those entering illegally and paroled immediately upon illegal entry into the U.S. (Cuban Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy), or paroled into the U.S., pending Immigrant Visa issuance based on U.S. migration accords with Cuba, and Iraqi and Afghan interpreters attached to the U.S. military/government, and their unmarried children (including stepchildren) under 21 years who qualify for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV). There is so much rhetoric about taking care of service members, and war veterans and their families, that it would be refreshing if the Director can address this matter.
(Iraq/Afghanistan Wars):

Congress considered it a priority (albeit attaching amendments to the INA as part of a major bill) to enact legislation to allow Iraqi and Afghan interpreters assigned to the U.S. military/government and their unmarried children (including stepchildren) under 21 years old to immigrate to the U.S. as Legal Permanent Residents under the Special Immigrant Visa category (SIV). Under the SIV category, an unmarried child under 21 years old is issued a derivative Immigrant Visa, once the beneficiary is qualified. The same derivative privilege is extended to unmarried children under 21 years, who are children of political asylum seekers, TSP beneficiaries, parolees (Cuban and others), and Cuban illegal entrants paroled into the United States. However, a U.S. citizen war fighter, who marries a foreign national; and, whose marriage was consummated after the unmarried child turns 18 years; but before the unmarried child is 21 years old, cannot petition for the child to immigrate to the U.S. My spouse was allowed to immigrate as an Immediate Relative, but amazingly, my stepson could not qualify as a derivative beneficiary. Where is the equity under the INA?

(Ways to Remedy the Inequity): Unmarried Children not Qualified for Derivative Status.

(I) The most expeditious way for a child (or step-child) of an active duty service member, or a child (or step-child) of a veteran that served during hostilities to enter the U.S., is for the Secretary of Homeland Security to parole the child into the United States, pending issuance of an Immigrant Visa. NOTE: Providing, an I-130 petition is already filed on behalf of the child by the Legal Permanent Resident spouse of the active duty U.S. citizen service member/veteran. The Secretary already has the statutory authority to parole persons into the United States pending Adjustment of Status, or issuance of an immigrant visa. This privilege is already routinely extended to Cubans to gain residency under the “Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy,” and to those covered under U.S. government migration accords with the Cuban government, and other parole cases.

(II) Amend the V Nonimmigrant visa eligibility criteria under the INA to cover unmarried children/stepchildren of active duty service members and veterans who served during hostilities.

I would like to thank USCIS for this forum to express what I perceive to be inequities under the INA.

At December 10, 2011 at 6:35:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just imagine, the President is talking about the Dream Act,and we have our servicemen/women going about immigration for their families legally, but cannot get them here. How do you expect me to support immigration reform? Why should our enemies allowed to immigrate here, and our service members are not allowed to reside with their families.

At March 27, 2012 at 9:02:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the eyes of some in the USCIS, military dependents, and children of war veterans are not much of a PR material, nor politically viable for their current bosses. Asylum cases are impotant,but also makes great media mileage,and can be a boost to anyone in the higher ups with political ambitions.This practices, goes as far back as World War I for Filipino US Navy sailors, even after serving for 20 years, they were excluded from applying for naturalization. Then, they waited for the sailors to grow old and finacially incapable(by taxation treaty) before inviting them back to the US to apply for naturalization.If they were really morally just, they could have just extended immigration benefits to their survivors(spouse and children) if the veteran had died. The way they were treated, they were literally, thru manauverings, herded back to their native country. Let us pray that the USCIS will pay attention to this matter.

At April 11, 2013 at 10:50:00 AM EDT , Anonymous David said...

This is a great idea. I absolutely love this county, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for every individual that serves this country. We should do everything we can to honor our hero's. God Bless America.

At October 25, 2014 at 12:18:00 PM EDT , Anonymous allthingsfetish said...

Our soldiers live for us, fight for us and sadly sometimes die for us too. Just so we can live in peace. They deserve all the respect and I honestly think we should remember them every single day of the year, not just one dedicated holiday!

At December 7, 2015 at 3:19:00 AM EST , Anonymous happy new year said...

Our soldiers live for us, fight for us and sadly sometimes die for us too. Just so we can live in peace. They deserve all the respect and I honestly think we should remember them every single day of the year, not just one dedicated holiday!


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