Question:I am a veteran with five years of service with the U.S. Navy. I need legal assistance concerning my citizenship and naturalization in federal court.
First, I want to thank you for your service. As you are aware, permanent legal residents of The United States, also known as Green Card holders, are eligible to join the military but are statutorily restricted to 6 years of service. This 6-year restriction assumes that the enlistee intends to become a U.S. citizen, and gives them 6 years to accomplish this so that they have plenty of time to complete the process should they wish to continue their service.
The American Legion applauds your desire to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, and supports all legal paths to citizenship. In 2009, the Legion supported DoD's policy of recruiting temporary residents, on an extremely limited basis, while providing a fast track to citizenship for those military members who possessed specialized language and medical skills.
Unfortunately, The American Legion does not have a program that provides legal services for citizenship representation. The American Legion does provide legal services for veterans seeking disability compensation claims from the Department of Veteran Affairs, and in rare cases may provide an amicus brief on matters that the Legion is involved in through its national resolutions, But I am afraid that I know of no Legion-sponsored services that can assist you with your immigration hearing.
The American Legion takes great pride in the fact that legal residents who have immigrated here from other nations believe in our country, our government, and our people with enough conviction to “support and defend the Constitution of The United States of America, against all enemies,” and further “bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” while pledging your life to stand side-by-side with your comrades-in-arms. And it is for these reasons that the Legion places no restrictions on its membership eligibility criteria regarding U.S. citizenship.
The American Legion applauds you as you work toward becoming a U.S. citizen, and supports all veterans who do so. We wish you success throughout the citizenship process.