Approximately 38,000 Americans in uniform are not American citizens—and at least ten soldiers who have died in Iraq did not have U.S. papers.
One of these Americans was Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, an immigrant from Guatemala who was among the first to die in Iraq back in March of 2003.
His adoptive mother remembers him telling her once:
I cannot stand having a regime do to women and children what [Saddam’s] regime is doing in Iraq. And I’ll give my life if I have to, in order to defend those children.
A new MSNBC “Lean Forward” ad invokes his story, and mentions that Gutierrez was granted American citizenship posthumously, which “was too late.”
Congress has considered proposals that would make it quicker and easier for immigrants to become Americans when they join the military—and have not moved to act on them. They should, in order to properly honor these all-but-in-name Americans, who made the ultimate sacrifice for a country that didn’t even recognize them.
Watch the video below: