Calling All Immigrants: Military Enlistment Fast Track to Citizenship

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Things are expected to change for immigrants in the US as the Pentagon is starting to recruit skilled immigrants into the US military, offering American citizenship as the reward.

In a news story published in The New York Times, immigrants with a temporary status in the US will be allowed, for the first time since the Afghan and Vietnam wars, to apply to military positions and become US citizens in as short a time as six months. However, the immigrants who are to be recruited should have lived in the United States, legally, for at least two years.

The quest for foreign immigrants for military recruitment has a number of implications for both the US and the immigrants desiring US citizenship. The US army has fallen in need of foreign employees due to an increasing need in military sections including field intelligence, language interpretation, medical care, and (possibly) battlefield combat.

As Lieutenant General Benjamin Freakley put it, cultural awareness in foreign countries is critical for the US army. The pilot program, which is open to 1000 enlistees, may later be expanded over all branches of the military. The future scene can be expected to show people of foreign ethnicities fighting for the US against other countries; in order to become Americans.

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The implications for the immigrants seem to be more than serious; potentially full of conflict. Foreign nationals like Arabs, Afghans, and Pakistanis etc. will find themselves face to face against the challenge of role conflict: on the one hand, feeling the obligation of loyalty to their native land and its culture; on the other hand, resisting the pressure of career building and settling down in the US.

It is not difficult to see that these immigrants would have to compromise certain feelings in order to reconcile their dual roles.