A project of the Center for Community Change

Veterans for Immigration Reform- First Called to Duty, Then Citizenship

As we move closer to Memorial day, many of us prepare to remember our veterans, their sacrifice and the history that builds the foundation of our democracy and others.

It is also a time when we remember the sacrifice of thousands of immigrants, both documented and undocumented who have given their lives in the US military. In a recent congressional hearing on immigrant integration, panelists reminded the House that the first soldier killed in Iraq was Jose Antonio Gutierrez, an undocumented immigrant.

When I turned on my television this mornig to local news in California I happened upon a sound bite from the Heritage Foundation propigating the same old tired idea that immigrants are a drain on this country- flying in the face of hard facts that we all know, immigrants are a boon to our country. Are the hundreds of thousands if not millions of immigrants and children of immigrants that swell the current ranks of our US army a drain on our country? Has anyone taken the percentage of soldiers in Iraq today, or in Vietnam 30 years ago who were of immigrant descent?

The Washington Post today has a great article on the history of immigrants in the military- Read it HERE

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