Russell's Blog

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Non-citizen Patriots

Posted by Russell on April 10, 2006 at 11:02 p.m.
I knew that a lot of soldiers in the US military are immigrants, but I here are a few facts that I discovered today that are rather interesting:
  • All men of military age are required to register for Selective Service, including illegal immigrants.
  • One in ten soldiers who have died in Iraq were immigrants.
  • About five percent (!!!!) of soldiers in the US armed forces are illegal immigrants.
  • The first solder to die in Iraq was Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, who was an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.
People enlist for a lot of reasons. Whatever those reasons, if you're willing to risk your life by serving in the military, I think it's safe to say that you're pretty much comitted to the idea of America. Whatever their politics, no one is going to let people shoot at them for the sake of something unless they believe in it very, very strongly. Some conclusions we can draw:
  • Many immigrant soldiers who died in Iraq enlisted as soon as they arrived. These people fought and died for a new home they were never allowed to enjoy, and they died for freedoms and principles from which they never personally benefitted.
  • Illegal immigrants make up less than three percent of the US population, and yet comprise five percent of US armed forces. That means they are about twice as likely to enlist as a citizen.
Could it be that illegal immigrants are more serious about their patriotism that citizens? If the attendees of the march on Washington today are any indication...

...maybe that's not such a crazy question after all.

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