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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dent Naturalization Bill Passes U.S. House

Congressman Charlie Dent is no friend to undocumented aliens, but has nevertheless pushed a bill through the U.S House that opens a door to citizenship for those who are serving our country. Here's what his office syas.

Today the U.S. House of Representative adopted H.R.6223, a bill introduced by Congressman Charlie Dent, removing hurdles faced by individuals classified as Legal Permanent Residents who are providing translation, interpretation and security services to the Department of State or at our embassies.

Under existing rules, these dedicated individuals are unable to become naturalized citizens due to the fact that the vital services and duties they are rendering America overseas preclude them from meeting the residency and physical presence requirements of individuals who desire to become citizens. (Individuals who want to become naturalized citizens are required to maintain a continuous physical presence in the United States for one full year.)

Currently, for example, a Legal Permanent Resident, who desires to become an American citizen, but serving at our Embassy in Iraq providing security protection to Department of State personnel would be unable to meet the residency and physical presence requirements necessary for them to realize their goal of citizenship.

“These dedicated individuals are doing America a great service, often under dangerous conditions and in highly volatile environments,” said Congressman Dent.

“As Americans we know it is unfair that people who so greatly wish to become American citizens should be penalized bureaucratically while they are making critical contributions to our country in the war against terrorism across the globe,” said Dent.

The positive impact of Congressman Dent’s bill, should it become law, will certainly be felt by at least one resident of the 15th Congressional District he represents.

George Bou Jaoudeh, from Bethlehem, is a Green Card holder of Lebanese descent. He experienced a disruption of his naturalization process because his work – with the Department of State in Iraq providing security for diplomats – prevented him from maintaining a one-year long continuous presence in The United States. Bou Jaoudeh performed with distinction while in Iraq. Ryan Crocker, our Ambassador at the time, credited the Bethlehem man with saving his life on more than one occasion.

Representative Dent thanked and praised Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for the role that Chairman Smith played in helping move the sensible measure through the House. “This could not have been achieved without Chairman Smith’s assistance,” said Congressman Dent. Dent had first introduced this bill in 2010.

For his part, Chairman Smith was glad to be able to help usher this bill through the House:

“I thank Congressman Dent for his work on this bill that honors the legal permanent residents who serve the United States in critical capacities in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world. This important bill makes a common sense change to our immigration laws to facilitate their path to citizenship.”

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) has introduced a companion bill S.3643 in the Senate.


Anonymous said...

Since 911, more than 70,000 immigrants have become US citizens while serving.

This is a good bill. Especially when these.agents for the US put their lives at risk by supporting the US mission. My sincere question is what happens to their families who are at equal risk?

Anonymous said...

Where does Dent stand on the tax cut for the 2%?

Anonymous said...

Dent supports a tax increase for all citizens.

Al Bernotas said...

This bill should absolutely, positively be passed. Congressman Dent is taking a very positive leadership step with this bill. Terrific, just terrific!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Al, As you probably know, there is a heavy Lebanese contingent in Easton. I spoke to a few people today at the courthouse who know George Bou Jaoudeh. They tell me he's a terrific guy and are rooting for him ... and Dent, even though they can no longer vote for him.

Anonymous said...

This is the right thing to do. it is curious to me that we need outsiders to stand up for this country doing the real work far too many others wont do. We are becoming soft and weak. Just look around. Woman are now doing what men use to do and in the end there will be very little need or desire for these men. We now have 2 groups of men. The protectors and the needy. If this keeps up goodbye guys.....Wake up, stand up or perish....It is happening. Now the 2% paying more. Why?? It does not help our bottom line it is only to make the 98% feel better. Well I think if you feel that way then you too should pay more so the people with less then you can feel better and so on. i certainly am not near the 2% but would be if I could. it's no one's business or right to take from others what they have earned. All pay or no one. We all have our definition of what is fair and we are either all right or all wrong. We have a spending problem. Tackle that first.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, not many of us know foreign languages.

Anonymous said...

While Congress finds pleasure with three day workweeks and fiscal cliff stalemates, 700 employees will be thanked for their service and sent home. Layoffs are directly related to sequestration threats resulting from the Failed Super Committee and the uncertainty that Congress promotes. A diversified Federal contractor now must cave to the presures of Wall Street in order to survive. We are 7 days away from Congress breaking for the Holiday and Grinches in DC have already made their hallmark on 700 families.

Merry Christmas Congress.