Some patriots lay down lives without citizenship

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2003

You don't have to be a citizen to be a patriot. Joseph Menusa, Francisco Martinez, Jose Gutierrez, Jesus Suarez del Solar and Jose Garibay died showing that.

The five Californians, all immigrants, were among the first U.S. casualties in Iraq. Congress has decreed that they and other non-citizens pose too much of a security risk to inspect bags at airports. Yet they willingly sacrificed their lives for their new country. Immigrants have done this in every war since the Revolution. ...

Eliminating delays to citizenship is the least the government can do for those in uniform. ...

Immigrants sign up for the same reasons as other Americans: career opportunities, educational benefits, adventure, devotion to country.

Last July, President Bush cited the war on terror when he added a big inducement to enlistment. He ordered that citizenship applications of those on active duty be pushed to the top of the pile. ...

It shouldn't take death, though, to get the government's attention. Citizenship should be enjoyed by the living.

-- San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

April 3

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