The mother of a new Marine wiped tears from her eyes and described the overwhelming sense of joy she was experiencing after watching her 18-year-old, Italian born son take the Oath of Allegiance after he finished boot camp recently. The family immigrated to the United States 15 years ago in pursuit of better opportunity and circumstances, a story familiar for many immigrants.
Under a newly implemented program, recruits can go through the naturalization process upon conclusion of boot camp. The new Marine and U.S. citizen says that this experience is not only emotional for his mother, but him as well as he feels pride at being able to be a Marine and give back to the country of which he is now a citizen.
More specifically, the 18-year-old says of himself and nine other recruits that similarly took the Oath of Allegiance upon the conclusion of boot camp with him, "We were all part of something really special. Not only did we become Marines today, but citizens of a great country."
This program is part of a naturalization expansion that was enacted by President George W. Bush to allow noncitizens serving to file for citizenship. Accordingly, immigrants can seek expedited citizenship if they serve in various selected areas of the armed forces.
However, this is the not the only process by which an immigrant can successfully go through the naturalization process in Washington D.C. or elsewhere within the country. Individuals that have lived in the United States under lawful and permanent circumstances for enough time are eligible. However, there are a few circumstances which could inhibit such a pursuit. Speaking with an experienced immigration attorney can greatly assist individuals in pursuit of naturalization.
Source: USA Today, "Marines become U.S. citizens at boot camp," Gina Harkins, Feb. 5, 2013
- Our firm has experience assisting immigrants with related matters. For more information, please refer to our Washington D.C. naturalization and citizenship page.