Civil Rights & Immigration

Resources and information on civil rights, immigration, citizenship, and voting rights.

Enactment of the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative Act of 2020

The Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative Act of 2020 was enacted on January 5, 2021. Read how this Act helps Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families protect their rights.
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Civil Rights - Overview

Do you think that you have been illegally discriminated against? If so, you may have experienced a Civil Rights violation. Read here to learn more.
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"Service Animals" and "Assistance Animals:" What Are My Rights?

Learn about the federal laws that support people in need of a service animal.
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Immigration and Citizenship Overview

Members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and their dependents, may be eligible for citizenship under special legal provisions. Special procedures apply in all of the following situations.
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Citizenship for Children Born to Servicemembers Overseas

This article explains citizenship for children born to servicemembers overseas. It includes children whose parents are U.S. citizens and those who are not. It also details how some children can gain U.S. citizenship.
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Can I Sue the United States if I am Injured while on Active-Duty?

The law about suing the United States government is complicated. Read more information about this Frequently Asked Question here.

Citizenship?

Question:

Hello Jim, Having lived in California as a legal Permanent Resident for many, many years I recently consulted an attorney about Naturalization. I served in the US military, and was deployed to Southwest Asia during the Gulf War; I received an honorable discharge. The attorney advised me to pursue citizenship based on residency (Part 1 - N-400 Form) and pointedly did not furnish the N-426 Form - I only get to check ONE box. (Brief background story - in 1992, after I separated from the military I received a Deportation Notice. I thank my lucky stars that the Immigration Attorney I contacted was an upstanding one.) I'm in a quandary, what should I do? Is there one path to citizenship that's easier and looked upon more favorably? I look forward to hearing from you, thank you for your consideration.

 

Jim's Reply:

I wish I had an answer that made sense. As an American who has a proud tradition of military service in my family, I'm embarrassed by the attitude that has been set toward immigrants and particularly immigrants who put their lives on the line for our country.
 

I can't answer your question. I'm going to blame it on timing...the administration of this country is changing on Jan. 20th from one that has been extremely unfriendly towards immigrants to an administration that will have a much more reasonable approach.
 

Were I you I'd wait a little longer. The new administration is inheriting the worst of the worst of the global pandemic that's raging throughout the world as well as a lot of other issues that will require immediate attention. I believe that a kinder immigration policy as well as a more efficient process will come about in quick time. I'd suggest you wait a couple of months and then revisit your goals. Good luck!

 

 

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Citizenship for Spouses of Service Members

Can I become a U.S. citizen if I am married to someone serving in the military who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? As the spouse of a U.S. service member, you may be able to apply for “naturalization” in one of several ways.
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Legal Needs Check-up Tool - Interactive Interview

Try our checklist to find legal information and where to get help with your legal issue.
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The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide

The Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide is a detailed 600 page guide originally printed in 2009. Read more to access the guide and learn more about what it has to offer.