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Posted: 1/24/2006 6:04:50 PM EDT
4 pages and a lock.....


January 30, 2006

Noncitizen sues to join Corps
Illegal immigrant tried to sign up, avoid deportation

By Gayle S. Putrich
Times staff writer

If the Corps is always looking for willing recruits, especially in a time of war, why should a Texas man have to sue the Defense Department for the right to join the Marine Corps? Probably because he’s not a U.S. citizen.

Juan Humberto Cortes Hutrera entered the United States illegally from Mexico when he was 12 years old with his parents, who are also undocumented immigrants. Now, he wants to serve his “new country” as a Marine.

According to the lawsuit filed Oct. 31 with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Cortes was ordered to appear in immigration court on June 24, 2004, to begin the deportation process. Cortes’ appeal of the 2004 deportation decision is pending.

It was more than a year after deportation proceedings began — in September 2005, three months after his graduation from Los Fresnos High School near Brownsville, Texas — when Cortes tried to join the Marines. While the lawsuit claims he met all the usual requirements and that recruiters wanted to enlist him, it was not possible due to Cortes’ immigration status.

Marlene Dougherty, Cortes’ lawyer in Brownsville, said it’s not her client’s fault he isn’t a citizen, and that as far as Cortes is concerned, he is an American who wants to serve his country.

“He didn’t break a law coming here. He was brought. He was a child. And now this is his home. He just wants to serve his country,” Dougherty said. She would not make him available for comment.

But the military looks at an applicant’s immigration status in a far more cut-and-dried manner than lawyers: If you don’t have legal immigration status, you can’t join the military, recruiters say.

The Marine Corps does not require a particularly long list of documents to enlist. A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary. So is proof of age, such as a birth certificate, and proof of U.S. citizenship. If a prospective Marine is not a citizen, recruiters explained, he must at least be in the process of becoming one and have either a green card or a valid I-551 form from Citizenship and Naturalization Services to prove it. There is no “work-around” for noncitizens.

Dougherty said recruiting regulations can be relaxed in times of war, and that an executive order from President Bush making that possible has already been signed. But Executive Order 13269, which is referenced in the lawsuit, only speeds up the naturalization process for “aliens and noncitizen nationals serving in an active-duty status” who have served for at least a year during a time of war or conflict. The order also sets Sept. 11, 2001, as the start date for a time of conflict. However, the law still requires that applicants for citizenship be a “lawful permanent resident,” something Cortes is not.

Dougherty said exceptions to recruiting requirements should be made only in times of conflict and on a case-by-case basis.

She believes her client should be one of those exceptions.

“We’re not looking to open the door to everybody,” said Dougherty, who said she also understands that physical requirements must be met and national security must be taken into consideration.

“Hopefully we can reach an agreement and get him enlisted,” she said. “That’s all he wants.”
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:06:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 6:07:05 PM EDT by CSM]
This will be an interesting discussion. If it were up to me, I would have let him sign right up!
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:07:51 PM EDT
Figures. Of all the Goddamn illegals we try to get rid of the one that wants to actually earn his keep.

Go go gadget bureaucracy!
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:10:43 PM EDT
If this guy is serious about joining up, why doesn't he just start the application process for citizenship as well? This doesn't make sense....
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:14:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By libertyforall:
If this guy is serious about joining up, why doesn't he just start the application process for citizenship as well? This doesn't make sense....



+1
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:14:52 PM EDT
It sounds like he is aleready an American at heart. They should let him join. Sometimes rules need to be broken.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:18:10 PM EDT
If he wants to join and pick up a rifle in defense of the country, let him. To avoid any misconceptions of guaranteed citizenship, make it a mandatory 10 year enlistment.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:18:15 PM EDT
If someone wants to join the Marines, and especially at a time when they could be sent somewhere dangerous, I say welcome to America!z

Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:19:01 PM EDT
Simply a cheap ploy.

ALL illegals need to go!
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:26:04 PM EDT
Let him in.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:29:25 PM EDT
I think we could use another Marine...
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:33:03 PM EDT
hmm..

I could see a problem with this.

Every illegal that comes into the country joins the millitary to get citizenship..

So now we have a bunch of mexicans with millitary training waiting to take over the country!!!

Oh my!
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:36:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
If someone wants to join the Marines, and especially at a time when they could be sent somewhere dangerous, I say welcome to America!z





+1

Anyone that puts their life on the line in our military, deserves a citizenship card. But he's got to be in combat arms. Got too.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:38:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MST2:
It sounds like he is aleready an American at heart. They should let him join. Sometimes rules need to be broken.



+1. If he would serve a tour in the Corp, especially in a time of war, then by-God he'd have earned his citizenship! I'd even buy him a drink when he gets out.

I don't see why he shouldn't be allowed to enlist. Hell, the local Marine recruiter around here wouldn't leave me alone until I told him I already enlisted in the Air Force. If they need people that bad, then I don't see the problem.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:51:15 PM EDT
Does the Corps need drywallers, landscapers and roofers? Is there an MOS for that?

Seriously...

As much as I'm against illegal immigration, I don't have a problem with his enlisting (I think filing a lawsuit is a little too much, though).

He came over with his parents when he was 12 years old; it's not like he really had a choice in the matter.

Hell, I can remember a time when enlisting was an alternative to going to jail; either by ones own choice or directed by a judge.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:51:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Triumph955i:
hmm..

I could see a problem with this.

Every illegal that comes into the country joins the millitary to get citizenship..

So now we have a bunch of mexicans with millitary training waiting to take over the country!!!

Oh my!



Gee! Who would have
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:56:41 PM EDT
Seems like a good, easy way to infiltrate and spy.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:57:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yugosksfan:

+1. If he would serve a tour in the Corp, especially in a time of war, then by-God he'd have earned his citizenship!
.




More so than many Americans.

I can't think of a better way to become a citizen.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 7:04:12 PM EDT
Oh, I get it. All the illegals have to go except "my" illegal or the "good" illegals.

Yeah, fuck that noise.

They're all criminals, they ALL go. Period.

[Illegal Apologist] "Whoa there! Why that's old Pablo! Yeah, old Pablo he's a good old boy! He's got a little 'tetch o' the Tee-Bee, but he was an Eagle scout back in Tenochtitlan! Yeah, we better leave him alone. Oh yeah, and leave his knocked up wife and 19 welfare kids alone too cuz they're, you know, Pablo's and he's a good old boy!" [/Illegal Apologist]
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 7:11:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 7:38:55 PM EDT by 45calmike]
If he really wants to serve his country, I say go for it.

My Dad did the same back in 1965 when he joined the U.S. Navy as a young Filipino citizen and joined at Subic Bay. Served 22 years. Loves the U.S. and the opportunities given to him and his family.

ETA: Although the deportation/illegal status was not an issue
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 7:16:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 7:18:08 PM EDT by Hydguy]
Sorry, but he is not fit to join the Corps.

He is an illegal, and has been using money that we pay in taxes to fund his education, and now that the deportation procedures are already a year old, he wants to enlist?

Nah. Ship him back, along with his illegal family.

If he wants back in bad enough, fill out the paperwork and go through the proper channels.

There was a Jamacian in my platoon, who was a resident, and was joining to serve, and get his citizenship. Good on him.

Piss on the illegal.

Honor and integrity mean something, and he has neither.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 7:16:58 PM EDT
Boot meet ass!

Let him join the Mexican Army. He can make some extra money on the side as well.
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