Except for the Indigenous Native Research Paper

Download this Research Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Research Paper:

S. citizenship (Bloemraad 2002). Given the ongoing need for qualified recruits by the U.S. armed forces, it just makes sense to determine the extent of enlistment in the armed forces by immigrants to identify their personal reasons for doing so. To the extent that these reasons are directly related to their desire to obtain American citizenship rather than a sense of patriotic responsibilities is the extent to which military service may represent a viable alternative to more time-consuming, expensive and complication naturalization procedures. It is important, though, to ensure that these immigrant recruits are provided with accurate information concerning how military service will affect their naturalization status and efforts to secure ultimate citizenship.

Rationale of Study

Military recruiters typically experience increases in enlistments during periods of economic downturn because of limited employment opportunities elsewhere in the private sector. Nevertheless, recruiting adequate numbers of high-quality and motivated service members is more challenging during periods of armed hostilities. One authority suggests that the solution is clear: "The obvious solution is to resurrect the draft. That remains a noble ideal, but an increasingly impractical one. A draft, remember, might not just draw in the elite; it could also pressure the military to accept those it now prides itself on weeding out" (Waldman 1996:27). The idea of resurrecting the draft, however, is anathema to many politicians and it is reasonable to suggest that military recruiters will continue to focus on those segments of American society that offer the best chances of filling the ranks, segments which include immigrants in increasing numbers.

Overview of Study

This study used a three-chapter format to achieve the above-stated research purpose. Chapter one of the study was used to introduce the topics to be considered, and to provide a statement of the problem, the purpose and importance of the study, as well as its rationale. Chapter two of the study was used to deliver a review of the juried and scholarly literature concerning the historic patterns of immigrant service in the armed forces and their contributions, as well as a discussion of current and future trends. Finally, chapter three provides a summary of the research and important findings.

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature

Chapter Introduction

This chapter provides a brief history of military service by immigrants throughout U.S. history, followed by a discussion concerning the importance of the contributions historically made by immigrants serving in the U.S. armed forces and an assessment of current and future trends including the effect of the Development, Relief, and Education Act for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. A summary of the research concludes this chapter.

Brief History of Military Service by Immigrants in the U.S.

The relationship between citizenship and an obligation for military service is truly ancient and can be found among the Greeks and Romans. According to Gross (1999), in Roman society, the importance of citizenship cannot be overstated: "Citizenship gave to everyone his basic rights: the right to marry a Roman, to trade (connubium, commercium), commercial contracts had legal validity; it protected a person and his family in its dealings with Roman authorities" (31). Roman citizenship also carried some heavy responsibilities that included military service for males. In this regard, Gross reports that, "But it also involved duties, above all military service and participation in government, in various assemblies and courts -- but again, it opened opportunities to various offices. Moreover, a citizen and his actions were protected by ius civile, Roman law, the law of the land binding all citizens. Hence, a citizen could take action in court" (Gross 1999:31). Likewise, today, citizenship is not a free ride (even though many natural-born Americans may believe otherwise) and Zilbershats (2001) reports that, "Citizenship is the embodiment of the strongest link between the individual and the State, a link which is reflected by the fact that the citizen is entitled to all the rights which the States grants and is subject to all the duties which it imposes" (689). This point is also made by Gribbin (1999) who emphasizes that the provision of citizenship carries with it certain responsibilities: "Each nation decides to whom it will grant citizenship and how it will grant it. Some sell it. The Central American country of Belize does. But most give it away, and the gift demands a payback that consists of duties to be accepted and a pledge of allegiance and loyalty" (9). It is not surprising, then, that immigrants may seek to expedite their acquisition of citizenship in countries that offer this fast track when it is available.

For the purposes of this study, then, immigrants will be regarded as intending to establish a permanent residence in another country, in this case the United States, an assumption that is consistent with the legal definition. For instance, according to Black's Law Dictionary (1990), an immigrant is "an alien in a country" and "one who leaves a country to permanently settle in another" (750). Immigrants have long taken advantage of this expeditious path to American citizenship and the benefits it confers. For example, according to Moore (2003), "Since the American Revolution, the concept of the citizen soldier has existed in the United States. Historically, racial and ethnic minorities were afforded no more rights than noncitizens; many served in the armed services with the expectation of attaining the citizenship rights denied them" (1). In fact, this legacy continues today in principle and function with the United States generally requiring 5 years of residency in the country to establish eligibility for citizenship applications but immigrants who have served on active duty in the armed forces have no residence requirement at all (Bloemraad 2002).

The track record of immigrant contributions in the military dates back to the country's inception. For example, Stock (2009) notes that, "Immigrants have been eligible to enlist in the U.S. military since the Revolutionary War and have served in times of war with great distinction. Many have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, this nation's highest military decoration" (5). Enlistment and service in the armed forces has traditionally been regarded as qualifying an immigrant for citizenship. Indeed, Stock emphasizes that, "It has long been an American tradition that service in the armed forces can lead to U.S. citizenship" (5). Some salient examples of immigrants who served in the U.S. armed forces with distinction include Alfred Rascon, described by Stock as being "an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who won the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War and later became a U.S. citizen and eventually the Director of the Selective Service System" (5).

Other significant examples of immigrants who served in the military with distinction include General John Shalikashvili, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was immigrated to the U.S. from Poland following the end of World War II (Stock 2009). In fact, during the most recent complete federal fiscal year (FY 2009), 10,505 active duty service members in the military were naturalized (see Figure 1 below), the highest level in a decade, and the level of immigrant naturalization through military service are highest during times of war when recruitment challenges are otherwise especially acute (Stock 5).

Figure 1. Members of U.S. Armed Forces Naturalized in United States & Abroad, FY 2001-2009

Source: Stock at 5

The importance of becoming an American citizen for immigrants (who by definition are seeking to relocate to the U.S. permanently) can account for this increase in naturalization through military service when the lengthy, expensive and complicated legal alternatives are less attractive. American citizenship can be gained in a number of ways:

1. Virtually all children born on U.S. soil (even to children born to illegal border crossers) become American citizens as well as children born anywhere to U.S. citizens.

2. Adults can also become U.S. citizens through naturalization (Gribbin 9).

In order to become eligible for naturalization as a citizen, immigrants must be at least 18 years old and have resided in the U.S. with a status as a legal resident for at least 5 years; but immigrants who are married to U.S. citizens can apply after 3 years and those who have served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces can apply for naturalization immediately (Gribbin 9). Besides these qualifications, immigrants seeking citizenship through naturalization must also be able to speak, read and write conversational English; however, there are some grey areas for this requirement and anecdotal accounts from across the country suggest that this requirement is not given that much attention in some jurisdictions (Gribbin 1999).

In addition, immigrants seeking citizenship through the naturalization process must also be able to show that they are capable of understanding the operation of the U.S. government and have a basic knowledge of U.S. history, but some disabled immigrants are exempted from this requirement (Gribbin 1999). Upon successful completion of the foregoing requirements, immigrants can receive American citizenship; however, the assignment of these fundamental rights is accompanied by a concomitant obligation…[continue]

Cite This Research Paper:

"Except For The Indigenous Native" (2010, April 29) Retrieved November 29, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/except-for-the-indigenous-native-2455

"Except For The Indigenous Native" 29 April 2010. Web.29 November. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/except-for-the-indigenous-native-2455>

"Except For The Indigenous Native", 29 April 2010, Accessed.29 November. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/except-for-the-indigenous-native-2455

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Native Americans Separate and Unequal Native American

    Native Americans: Separate and Unequal Native American Isolation Native Americans have continued to represent a marginalized ethnic minority in the United States, despite repeated efforts at assimilation. No one argues publicly anymore that Native Americans are inferior to Whites, but the taint of racism seems to remain embedded in public policy decisions concerning this demographic. Accordingly, Native Americans have attempted to insulate themselves from the influence of what can only be described

  • Native Americans Transition From Freedom to Isolation

    Native Americans Transition From Freedom to Isolation America's history since 1865 to date is a remarkable record of various accounts of despair, hope, triumph, and tragedy. The country's history consists of some compelling transformations with one of these significant accounts being the battle between Americans and Americans in the final period of the Civil War. In its initial years, the United States was politically isolated from the rest of the world

  • Native American Comparison Native American Literature Is

    Native American Comparison Native American literature is interesting in and of itself but also when the reader understands the cultural perspective of that population. Part of this interest comes from the fact that the Native Americans were the indigenous people of what would become the United States. When European colonists arrived, the Native Americans were put in the position of having to either assimilate to the new culture or to resist

  • Native Peoples of the Aleutian Island Chain Specifically the Aleute...

    Native Americans The Aleutian Islands run from the Peninsula of Kamchatka in the Asiatic portion of Russia to Alaska. All the islands are bare and mountainous and the coasts rocky and surrounded by crashing waves and enormous breakers. (Larkin, unpaged) Some believe the Aleutians offer the worst weather in the world: Weather fronts originating in the South Pacific create storms hundreds of miles long and many weeks in duration (Sipes, unpaged)

  • Compare and Contrast Native Americans and the Blues From Sherman...

    Blues The title of Sherman Alexie's first novel, Reservation Blues, sums up the two central themes that reverberate throughout the story: reservation life and the particular, peculiar status of blues music in American history and identity. The novel follows the story of a Native American blues rock band based near Spokane, Washington, whose rise and fall is dictated, at least partially, by the cursed guitar of blues legend Robert Johnson.

  • Indian Givers How Native Americans Transformed the World by Jack...

    Weatherford Indian Givers Brief summary of the book: What date was it published? What is the main subject? What time frame does the book cover? Jack Weatherford's 1988 book Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed the World, described the many contributions that the Native peoples of the Americas have made to world civilization from the 16th Century to the present, which have generally been ignored by mainstream academics and the general public. Who

  • Hawaiian History in From a Native Daughter

    Hawaiian History In From a Native Daughter, Haunani-Kay Trask's purpose could not be clearer in that she has written a highly political and ideological work from a left-wing nationalist perspective that denounces the colonization of Hawai'i by the United States. Even more, every word she wrote is absolutely true, even though many whites either do not know this history or do not want to know it. In fact, they might even


Read Full Research Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved