Georgia is home to Ft. Benning and Warner-Robins Air Force Base. There are many soldiers serving in Georgia right now who are immigrants. Many of them are not citizens but get citizenship eventually during or after their service. However, some soldiers claim that they are not receiving what has been historically promised to them as a condition of their service to the United States.
Six soldiers have filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that new Department of Defense policies enacted in 2017 make it more difficult for them to obtain citizenship. There is a program called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest that gives soldiers citizenship after their service. However, new DoD policies have introduced a host of blocks to this, requiring the government to investigate the possible citizens for terrorist ties and other possible connections. This is after the soldiers have established a track record of successful service. The lawsuit alleges that this has effectively blocked them from becoming U.S. citizens.
There is a long history of naturalization after service dating back centuries. However, DoD is effectively preventing this now by not providing the certificates of honorable service that is necessary. DoD is vigorously fighting this lawsuit and even succeeded in forcing the plaintiffs to be identified. A successful program that has worked for years is now at the center of the national immigration debate.
Citizenship, in general, is becoming more difficult these days due to new rules instituted in 2017. Even if there are not regulations that prevent citizenship, there is much more red tape that gets in the way. A citizenship attorney can be an advocate for their client as they try to make their way through the system. It is not as easy as it was, and clients need effective legal representation when they want to become U.S. citizens.