BILL: Quicker path to citizenship for vets

The bill would change how tjhe U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service handles applications.

A new bill promises to speed up the path to citizenship for foreign nationals serving in the United States military.

Naturalization attorney Cesar Garcia told Action 4 News that the bill would benefit legal immigrants serving in the armed forces.

"Before you had to get in line, at the back of the line just like everyone else," Garcia said. "What this does is this puts service members at the very front of the line."

The "Military Personnel Citizen Processing Act" looks to simplify the process for those who serve the United States.

The law applies to military members of all branches currently serving and some of those from past wars.

Garcia told Action 4 News that its still unclear whether veterans of even earlier wars could see the benefit.

He said the law also applies for the families of soldiers who have died in the line of duty.

One Rio Grande Valley veteran said he served with men who were not naturalized citizens but still put their lives on the line for the country.

"They were good friends, good soldiers some of them died for this country," the Valley vet recalled. "I think if that's they're only issue I think they should be a citizen."

A son of another veteran agreed.

He said that every person who fights for this nation should be considered a full-fledged citizen.

"I feel that if someone is willing to help protect us, this country, then I'm all for it," he said.

Click here for more information on the bill from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service website