Marine killed in action to receive posthumous citizenship

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Marine killed in action to receive posthumous citizenship

Post by MKSheppard » 2003-04-05 03:35am

This is important enough to warrant it's own thread....

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 284532.DTL

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He was 10 when he immigrated to the United States from the Philippines, 20 when he joined the Marines, and 33 when he died fighting in Iraq for his adopted homeland.

Any day now, Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa will receive in death the citizenship status that had eluded him in life.

Menusa's family received the news Thursday through a friend who said a White House liaison called to inform him that posthumous citizenship for the San Jose resident was imminent.

"I know how much he wants it -- wanted it," said his stepfather, Michael Kenny. "I feel like it's the least we can do, since he fought and died for the country he loved so much."

Menusa, whom Kenny described as "a full-blooded Marine," was a veteran of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and was deployed to Kuwait in February. He died March 27 after being shot near Nasiriya. He left behind a wife, Stacy, and 3- year-old son, Joshua, along with his expectations of a lifetime military career and hopes of one day becoming a full-fledged American.

For much of the past decade, he made repeated attempts with immigration officials to become a citizen, but was foiled by appointments that had to be missed while he was deployed or stationed far from home.

Eric Lachica, executive director of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans Inc. in Washington, D.C., heard media reports of Menusa's death that detailed his struggles to become a citizen and offered to help his family. The family was thrilled.

"It struck me as kind of ironic that he made the final sacrifice for his country and yet his citizenship was not completed," Lachica said. "I thought this was a great thing we could do for him."

The paperwork to make Menusa's longtime dream a reality is possible because of an executive order signed by President Bush in July that has allowed three other noncitizen Marines killed in combat to receive the same honor. The executive order made provision for citizenship status to be bestowed upon military service people who die during combat, said Sharon Rummery, a spokeswoman with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The deaths of Menusa and the other noncitizen Marines has brought national attention to the numbers of foreign citizens serving in the armed forces. More than 30,000 legal permanent residents serve in the military, with more than 8,000 of them coming from California.

On Thursday, Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., introduced legislation that would expedite the naturalization process for members of the armed forces who are legal permanent residents. The bill would require two years of military service, instead of three, to qualify for citizenship. It would waive fees and allow members to naturalize overseas.

In Menusa's case, Lachica contacted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, to start the process. On Thursday, Lachica said he got the call from a White House liaison informing him that Menusa would soon be an official citizen.

"She assured me they can get the citizenship certificate to the widow, hopefully by the (time of the) funeral," he said.

Plans for Menusa's funeral are still being made, and it's likely that two memorials may be held -- one in Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County), where his wife and son are living, and another in Tracy, where his parents and extended family reside.

Menusa's wife was not available for comment, but his mother, Virginia Menusa, said Thursday his body arrived in Delaware earlier this week. It will be flown to Los Angeles within a week.

"It made me a little bit happy to hear that (his citizenship would be granted)," she said. "But it's sad, too, because he tried so hard before, when he was alive."

She said she also lives with deep fear about her younger son, David, who is a drill instructor in the Marines, being deployed.

"I am so scared for him, and I just can't afford to lose another one," she said. "I'm hoping he has time to get his citizenship before he has to go."

***************

My comments:

13 years a Marine, and you can be granted Citizenship in 3
years minimum....

Lord Vader, Please pay the INS a visit.....
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Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2003-04-05 03:43am

scary, is hell freezing over....

Boxer is starting to make sense.

That was WAY overdue for that marine.

And should have been rectified long ago.

I also recall working alongside NFS firefighters who were perminate resident aliens particualrly ones from Mexico & Ireland.

Some of those "boys" died in wildfires, serving our country. Over 200 years ago we promised full citizenship to Irish, Scottish, Native American & French Nationals who would fight for us against our enemies. I think we are long past due in honoring the bargins.
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Post by Vympel » 2003-04-05 10:27am

That was frightening when I read the title- only because I saw a Vietnamese non-citizen Marine being interviewed on Fox News, saying how he was hoping he would get his citizenship.
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Post by RedImperator » 2003-04-05 10:33am

So the INS gives the OK for Mohommad Atta to take flying lessons a month after he flies a 767 into the 1 World Trade Center, but they can't give a 13 year Marine and Gulf War vet and his family citizenship? What a bunch of useless pigdickers.
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Post by Vympel » 2003-04-05 10:42am

RedImperator wrote:So the INS gives the OK for Mohommad Atta to take flying lessons a month after he flies a 767 into the 1 World Trade Center, but they can't give a 13 year Marine and Gulf War vet and his family citizenship? What a bunch of useless pigdickers.
I think we all figured that out when Atta was pothumously approved for a visa extension IIRC, or some very similar utter fuckup. :wink:
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Post by Montcalm » 2003-04-05 10:58am

Vympel wrote:
RedImperator wrote:So the INS gives the OK for Mohommad Atta to take flying lessons a month after he flies a 767 into the 1 World Trade Center, but they can't give a 13 year Marine and Gulf War vet and his family citizenship? What a bunch of useless pigdickers.
I think we all figured that out when Atta was pothumously approved for a visa extension IIRC, or some very similar utter fuckup. :wink:
When you let pencil pushers decide these things logic goes out the windows. :evil:
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Post by fgalkin » 2003-04-05 12:41pm

13 years a Marine, and you can be granted Citizenship in 3
years minimum....
Actually, It's 5 years.

Have a very nice day.
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Post by Newtonian Fury » 2003-04-05 12:44pm

For much of the past decade, he made repeated attempts with immigration officials to become a citizen, but was foiled by appointments that had to be missed while he was deployed or stationed far from home.
That must have been very annoying, but having INS interview(s) is how the naturalization process works. Having dealt with the INS on several occasions, I know how frustrating it is.

The big question I don't get is, why didn't he apply for naturalization before he joined the marines? You only need to be in the US and stay in one state for only 5 years before you can apply for citizenship. I got my citizenship 9 years after I came to the US, and I could've gotten it years sooner if I didn't move from one state to another.
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Post by kojikun » 2003-04-05 12:49pm

isnt there something that says anyone under 18 is granted immediate citizenship??
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Post by Newtonian Fury » 2003-04-05 12:58pm

No. Minors have their citizenship process tied to their parents.

All in all, the citizenship process is very easy. As long as you don't have any criminal record, you should be able to get an interview. And the interviewer asks you very easy test questions about how the US government works and US history. Basically, fundamental history/government things you learn in middle and high school. The main reason people don't pass this test is because most of them don't know the this stuff very well. But someone like this person, who came to the US at 10, should have no problem what so ever in the interview.
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Post by Durandal » 2003-04-05 01:33pm

MKSheppard wrote:This is important enough to warrant it's own thread....
No, it isn't. Exercise more discretion in the future.
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Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2003-04-05 01:41pm

*Remembers past mistreatment of Irish, Native American & Japanese Soldiers by the USofA*

*Smacks Durandel with skillet*

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Post by Warspite » 2003-04-05 01:46pm

The guy was in the Marines for 13 years! At least, some expedite process should be used, after all, wasn't he fighting for "his" country?
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Post by Durandal » 2003-04-05 02:21pm

The Yosemite Bear wrote:*Smacks Durandel with skillet*
Excuse me, but why? It's nice and everything that the guy is getting his citizenship, but this isn't a major development in the war; it's a nice, minor aside.

Things like "Coalition Takes Baghdad" and "Thousands of Troops Killed in Iraqi Suicide Attack" would warrant their own threads.
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Warning: RANT

Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2003-04-05 07:43pm

Yes, he is one of many American and one of the Thousands killed in this conflict. However lets step back from comerade Stalin's view of him as a statistic, and look at the underlying tragedy: The United States does not treat those that have laid down their lives very well.

During the Revolution the Government Promised Land, Citizenship & Freedom to all that fought for our side. The Black Slaves, The Indians, The Irish, The French & The Scottish Never recieved what was promised them. Crippled soldiers were left to beg in the streets.

It wasn't until the civil war where we actually created some form of pension for the widows of OFFICERS. While some people were able to use their family's money to turn their War Injuries into political careers, the former slaves, the Indians, the Italians, & the Irish who served during the civil war were left with nothing, and a life time of pain from the conflicts. OFten reduced to begging as well.

In the Spanish American War we had Convict Soldiers who were for all intents and purposes "Slaves" of the US army.

WWI: The US government failed to pay soldiers their signing bounties, and instead delayed & delayed it. Combined with the great depression, it set the stage for the "Bonus Army" which was put down with furious prejudice by the US Army under General <Edit, Patton & MacArthur>.

WWII: While mmany got to take advantage of the G.I. bill, the jobs entiailed, along with housing etc. Soldiers in the US protectorates did not recieve this (living under US law and not recieving benifits), Nor did the 3rd generation born in America Japanese recieve any. Nor did the Native Americans.

Korea: The United States (Unlike any other country in the UN "Peace Keeping force) refused to recognize marraiges or children of service men during that conflict. Ditto Vietnam

Vietnam: Refusal to deal with the children of said conflict, refusal to recognize the effects of Agent Orange.

The United States compared to Europe has an abonable record for it's treatment of it's soldiers once it no longer needs them, or their wives and fianc'es once they have died in action. The citizenship clause that is sited here was been STANDARD in most of Europe for over a CENTURY!.
Last edited by The Yosemite Bear on 2003-04-05 07:50pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Durandal » 2003-04-05 07:48pm

I still don't see how this is anything but a nice aside. It's great that the guy is being honored in such an appropriate way, but with the public outburst of support for the armed forces despite being divided on the validity of the war hardly makes this a surprise. If the government treats the soldiers like shit during this conflict, then the entire, unified public will be pissed off.
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Re: Warning: RANT

Post by MKSheppard » 2003-04-05 07:50pm

The Yosemite Bear wrote:Combined with the great depression, it set the stage for the "Bonus Army" which was put down with furious prejudice by the US Army under General Pershing.
Problem. It was Douglas MacArthur who was in charge of putting down
the Bonus Army. Pershing was retired by then.

Then-Colonels Patton and Eisenhower helped put it down too.
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Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2003-04-05 07:51pm

That's right Pershing invaded Mexico.

opps, they don't talk too much about that one.
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