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06 November 2015

Honoring Service: Veterans Who Became USCIS Employees - Ivan Gutierrez

Ivan Gutierrez is a management and program analyst in the Los Angeles Field Office and a Marine Corps veteran. He is also a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Gutierrez came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was 5 years old. Immediately after graduating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps. “I served because I wanted to give back to America for all the opportunities that it provided to my family that we would have not otherwise have had in our homeland.”

He served in the Marines from 2001 to 2005 at Camp Pendleton, California, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Camp Pendleton was his favorite post because it was only 100 miles from his family, something Gutierrez treasures more than anything. He is proud of his Mexican heritage and culture and credits his parents for his strong work ethic. They taught him that everything would have to be earned. Nothing would be given to him. The life lessons he learned from his parents even prepared him for the Marine Corps.

Gutierrez’s desire to give back to his country was realized when he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq. There, his unit lost 19 Marines.

Ivan Gutierrez in Fallujah, Iraq

Following his service with the Marine Corps, he attended college and was selected as a finalist for the Presidential Management Fellowship Program. His government employment began with USCIS, first as a call center analyst, then as an immigration services officer, and finally a management and program analyst. He achieved this all within two years.

When asked how he would describe citizenship in just a few words, Gutierrez said “opportunity and freedom of choice.” As a naturalized citizen who chose to serve in the Marines and then work for the government of his adopted country, Gutierrez is a model for that very opportunity and freedom of choice.

We thank him for his service and honor him this Veterans Day.

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At November 7, 2015 at 2:19:00 AM EST , Blogger Google Guest said...

Great story. As a Veteran I also would love the opportunity to serve in USCIS. We will see how far my application goes! Thanks Ivan for your commitment to our great country!

At November 11, 2015 at 6:58:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also a Veteran who work with legacy INS, during the transition with ICE and completed my service with USCIS. After more than 30 years I never received any compliments from neither agency. It is clear that the animosities against all of the Vietnam Era Veterans still active.

At January 8, 2016 at 9:34:00 PM EST , Anonymous maria said...

My uncle is a Veteran who served in USCIS. He told me about that marines like Ivan Gutierrez are very courageous.


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