Civil Rights & Immigration

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


The Stateside Legal Advocate Tool Kit

Below are several toolkits and resources that will help you assist a veteran in need. They include links to specific laws, regulations, and veteran resources. Please contact us if you know of a helpful tool that is not included here. 


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.

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.
A photo of two men and a woman in U.S. Marine Corps dress uniform, saluting.

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.
A computer generated image of a series of papers layered on top of each other. The top paper is a check list with red check-marks on it.

Legal Needs Check-up Tool - Interactive Interview

Try our navigator to find legal information and where to get help with your legal issue.
A photo of people, from the knees down, wearing camoflague uniforms and tan combat boots.

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.
A photo of several young people working on documents across a table

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.



Does CHAMPVA cover lab work for a green card to make sure she had certain shots? She is from the Philippines and had no records for vaccinations. Can I get the company that did the blood work to accept less if CHAMPVA would not pay any towards the cost also?


Jim's Reply:

I can't say that CHAMPVA will or will not cover this sort of lab work. For that matter, if she has no records of any vaccinations I'm not at all sure that "blood work" will be a satisfactory substitute for vaccination records. She may have to take a new set of shots to prove her status.

I've read the vaccination requirements (new to me) and it appears that she will have to meet with a "civil surgeon"   who will then determine what vaccinations are needed, if any. The civil surgeon will use this guide to determine just what is necessary  

When you use the search function to find a civil surgeon near you, check with that office first and make sure they accept CHAMPVA and you should be good to go. If this doctor doesn't accept CHAMPVA you'll have to figure another way to pay for services or find a doctor who does accept it. Good luck.




Does an employee of the DOD have the right to electronically harass a decorated disabled combat service connected veteran?


Jim's Reply:

No, of course not. Any sort of unwanted attention in any format is not acceptable. You have rights, stand for them.




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!