Immigration and the US Military

Create a Market Plan for introducing a new product or brand

Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Immigration and the US Military by Mind Map: Immigration and the US Military

1. Are there really immigrants in the US Military?

1.1. In fact, there are quite a few. According to a Congressional Hearing on July 10th, 2006, there are over 60,000 immigrants in the US Armed Forces, which is approximately 5% of the 1.5 million uniformed service members.

1.2. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, there were 11,146 Naturalized servicemembers serving in FY 2010.

1.3. The Center for Naval Analyses, a Non-Profit thinktank formed in 2008, found that approximately 4% of Uniformed Servicemembers were immigrants.

1.3.1. To find this number, the CNA utilized two methods already in place. The American Community Study and the Current Population Study are two annual studies that select a portion of the population, representative of the larger population, for data representation on a number of factors.

1.4. The US Navy has the highest percentage of non-citizens

1.5. The 2012 US Army Soldier of the Year was SGT Saral K. Shrestha, a Nepalese immigrant. He was approached by Special Forces while in his initial training because of his language skills in Urdu, a common langauge spoken in Afghanistan.

2. What benefits are there for the US?

2.1. According to the CNA, the US military has an interest in recruiting immigrants due to the global nature of the military in the United States's Foreign Policies.

2.1.1. Foreign-Born immigrants have valuable langauge skills. The US military has a need for uniformed servicemembers with native born speaking abilities for nearly every language

2.1.2. MAVNI, or Military Accessions Vital to National Interests is a program which permits legal aliens to enlist, if they can show that they hold a skill or language proficiency that benefits US National Interests

2.2. Increased social mobility for immigrant veterans through veterans assistance programs

2.2.1. VA Health Care

2.2.2. GI Bill Post WWII, the GI Bill opened the doors for greater education attainment among lower and working class immigrants, speeding up the creation of the strong middle class we associate with the 1950's and 1960's

2.2.3. Housing Assistance Several interviewed soldiers mentioned that they used or planned to use the VA home loan when they purchase their home

2.3. Increased assimilation through expedited naturalization

2.3.1. Center For Naval Analyses focuses heavily on rate of naturalization for non-citizen servicemembers The US Air Force has the highest rate of its non-citizens becoming naturalized. The US Marine Corps has the lowest rate of its non-citizens becoming naturalized There was a positive correlation between prior higher education level and higher Armed Forces Qualification Testing scores

3. The Basics

3.1. Supporting Documents

3.2. Citations and References

3.2.1. The Green and The Grey: The Irish in The Confederate States of America, David Gleeson

3.2.2. Center For Naval Analyses

3.2.3. Senate Armed Forces Commitee Hearing on Immigrant Contributions to the US Armed Forces

3.2.4. Key Findings on GI Bill (Mettler)

3.2.5. President Roosevelt World Affairs Vol. 103, No. 3 (September, 1940), pp. 179-186

3.2.6. Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, Section 602(b),



4. Who

4.1. Example Countries of Origin

4.1.1. Europe Italy Ireland Germany

4.1.2. Asia Phillipines The US foreign policy in the Phillipines over the past century has vastly influenced immigration rates from the Phillipines to the United States. Most notable among the US foreign policy decisions was the US military's commitment to the Phillipines China India Vietnam US military presence in Southeast Asia in the Cold War period increased the influence of the US in terms of immigration

4.1.3. Africa

4.1.4. Americas Mexico El Salvador Nicaragua Panama Ecuador

4.1.5. Southwest Asia Afghanistan There is an act which provides for immigration opportunities for those Afghani Nationals who seek to immigrate to the United States. One of the main provisions of this act is that you worked or proved beneficial to the United States in Afghanistan. While there is a separate program for translators, this offers another route for workers to pursue. Surprising to most Americans, contractors are vital to US war efforts. While this is most pronounced in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this practice has been utilized in nearly every foreign war the United States engaged in. Many of these contractors are simply local nationals who the US pays to conduct services such as trash collection, construction, administrative jobs, etc. Having these local nationals essentially buys cooperation while allowing combat troops to focus on their respective combat related duties. Nearly all of these workers would be ineligible for citizenship under immigration programs as they currently stand, but it is a fine example of the vast influence a military presence has on even small populations in a foreign country. It is influences like this that increase immigration from the simple experience of exposure. Iraq After 2011, only 50 Special Immigrant Visa's are offered per year. This is directly in line with the United States' withdrawal from Iraq. There are numerous examples of programs which sought to bring local national Iraqi's who were hired as translators to gain their citizenship in the US.

5. Why

5.1. Economic

5.1.1. Education Benefits

5.2. Social

5.2.1. Education Benefits

5.2.2. Similar to non-immigrants who join, many enlist for camraderie

5.3. Home nation military skills

5.3.1. Irish in Pre-Civil War era sought military training in US Army to return to fight in Ireland

5.4. Naturalization

5.4.1. How? According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, the following is the requirements for naturalization while serving in uniform. All of the following is directly quoted from the USCIS.GOV website Qualification through one year of qualifying service during peacetime Naturalization through qualifying service periods of hostilities Interestingly enough, there is a program which offers a reprieve to family members of servicemembers who are killed in action. Illegal/undocumented immigrants of servicemembers killed in action are allowed to apply for their citizenship.

6. When

6.1. Revolutionary War

6.1.1. During this time period, a much larger number of soldiers considered immigrants, simply due to the nature of the country being in its infancy

6.2. Civil War

6.2.1. Whole units were comprised of mainly immigrants The regiments formed in New York (69th Regiment, 182nd Artilery) and those formed in the South

6.2.2. Regiments of militias full of Irish immigrants were formed as both training units for Irish Revolutionaries as well as protection within New York City pre Civil War.

6.3. World War I

6.4. World War II

6.4.1. Due to the draft, large portions of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants, from nearly every heritage, were sent to war. Many 1st and 2nd generation Italian and German americans were sent to fight against the Axis powers, which included their origin nations. The military found that native German and Italian speakers were valuable and the job of linguist became increasingly more popular

6.4.2. The US's involvment in the near global war led to a slew of immigration programs post WWII

6.4.3. Some interesting numbers of foreign-born soldiers in World War II (Taken from Table No. 1-United States Citizenship Status of Foreign Born Who Enlisted or Were Inducted, United States Army: July. 1, 1940, to June 30, 1945) 306, 298 foreign born soldiers total in this period, with 64.2 of those foreign born being naturalized prior to enlistment. 35.8% were non-citizens. The 8 largest categories: Canada Italy Germany British Isles Mexico Poland U.S.S.R Irish Free State

6.4.4. Selective Service and Training Act of 1940 This act mandated that every male citizen in the US between 21 and 36 was eligible to be called upon for military service "Except as otherwise provided in this Act, every male citizen of the United States and every male alien residing in the United States has declared his intention to become such a sitizen... shall be liable for training and service in the land or naval forces of the United States" One side effect of this act was to include non-citizens who intended to become citizens into a larger picture of military service for the first time In terms of immigrants alone, the Selective Service Act created an interesting requirement. Immigrants who sought federal programs, such as Federal Student Aid or employment assistance had to show that they were registered in the selective service system.

6.5. Vietnam

6.6. Desert Storm

6.7. Iraq & Afghanistan

6.7.1. Evidence of increased enrollment of asian and hispanic vs historical norms

7. The People That Were Interviewed

7.1. SFC H

7.1.1. Ecuador

7.1.2. Immigrated as a young adult

7.2. SGT P

7.2.1. Dominican Republic

7.2.2. Immigrated as a child

7.3. SFC P

7.3.1. Haiti

7.3.2. Immigrated as a teenager

7.4. SSG J

7.4.1. El Salvador

7.4.2. Immigrated as a young adult

7.5. SFC W

7.5.1. Panama

7.5.2. Immigrated as an adult

7.5.3. Enlisted prior to becoming naturalized

7.6. SGT V

7.6.1. Ukraine

7.6.2. Immigrated as an adult

7.6.3. Enlisted prior to becoming naturalized

7.7. SPC R

7.7.1. Ukraine

7.7.2. Immigrated as a child

7.8. SGT H

7.8.1. New Zealand

7.8.2. Immigrated as an adult

7.8.3. Enlisted prior to becoming naturalized

7.8.4. This interview went exceptionally long as the soldier is also a close friend Some interesting points The US military fosters a positive environment for immigrants In response to a question on expectations of benefits, SGT H responded "[I] didn't join for the benefits, you know, didn't really care, [but] I was quite happy about the education benefits" The naturalization process as a civilian "was one of the worst experiences of my life". "Altogether, I had been working on it for years, despite being married"

7.9. My sample size is quite small and quantifying the subjective data of the interviews has been quite difficult. That said, several interesting parallels were found between all interviews. One additional problem that I identified was the ranks of those that I interviewed. Every person that I interviewed is in the rank of Sergeant or above. This is slightly significant as it means that they have spent over 3 years in the US Army, most having over 10 years of service.

7.9.1. Almost all of those interviewed perceived service as less responsible for their success than their own personal ambition. Yet 7 out of 9 utilized Veterans Affairs or military health insurance and 8 out of 9 utilized some type of military or Veterans Affairs education assistance

7.9.2. Every soldier interviewed said that working closely with the abnormal diversity has helped decrease theirs and their peers discrminatory tendencies

7.9.3. Every soldier interviewed stated that their military service has enabled them to be proud of their nation, the United States It was interesting that while some weren't even US citizens, they all refered to the US as their nation

7.9.4. Nearly everyone interviewed alluded to a sense of greater or faster assimilation due to their military service.

7.9.5. Everyone who was interviewed expressed disappointment in the training, bureacracy and effectiveness of the US Army. It seems that immigrants have an idealized version of the strength of the US Army prior to enlistment. This would require a larger sample size and a control group in order to verify.