Washington, D.C. – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) recently introduced H.R.6020, which allows active duty soldiers and veterans who serve honorably to become citizens expeditiously. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Mike Pence (R-IN), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Mac Thornberry (R-TX), and Michael Turner (R-OH), also includes provisions to:<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
<!--[if !supportLists]-->o <!--[endif]-->Ensure that active duty service members and veterans who served honorably are not relegated to “conditional” permanent residence. Where the spouse or child of an active duty service member is subject to conditional permanent residence, ensure that their obligation to appear at an in-person interview does not interfere with their military duties.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->o <!--[endif]-->Ensure that lawful permanent resident active duty service members are not forced to wait for years to be reunited with their spouses or minor children.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->o <!--[endif]-->Codify existing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines for placing non-citizen active duty service members or veterans in removal proceedings.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->o <!--[endif]-->Give undocumented family members of soldiers the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents if they are otherwise eligible.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->o <!--[endif]-->Allow non-citizen active duty service members, veterans, and their close family members to apply for relief from immigration officials
“The brave men and women serving in our armed forces have enough to think about without having to worry about the deportation of loved ones,” noted Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “This legislation addresses many of the concerns that military families have about out current dysfunctional immigration system. The brave volunteers serving in our armed forces deserve the piece of mind this bill will bring.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, over 45,000 non-citizens were serving in the U.S. military (Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, National Guard, Reserves) as of March 2007. In addition, many U.S. citizens serving in the military have close immigrant family members.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is serving her seventh term in Congress representing most of the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. She serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. She also Chairs the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. Congresswoman Lofgren is Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation consisting of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California.