Senator Joel Anderson
Since the founding of our country, those yearning to breathe free from around the globe have been willing to make tremendous sacrifices to obtain American citizenship.
Some, while not yet citizens, believed so strongly in the promise of America that they volunteered to defend it as a member of our Armed Forces, and if called upon would risk their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day.
America should keep its promise to them.
Under federal law, non-citizen U.S. residents may receive expedited citizenship in exchange for service in the Armed Forces. I’ve authored a measure to ensure that we in California do our part by moving this process along as efficiently as possible.
Senate Bill (SB) 156 will require the California Department of Veterans Affairs and the California National Guard to assist returning veterans and current members of the Guard in filling out the necessary forms and paperwork to apply for citizenship.
This bill is an important step toward keeping our promise to the brave men and women who defend our freedom, many of whom will long bear the seen and unseen scars of their sacrifice including Traumatic Brain Injury or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In the past, due to a brush with the law resulting from a service connected disability, some veterans have ended up deported, instead of treated and supported, because they had not filled out the proper paper work when leaving the service.
They entered the service whole and came back broken. And it’s our moral obligation to ensure that anyone who defends our liberty has every opportunity to access the care and services they earned and need to be made whole again. That’s exactly what SB 156 will do. If you agree, visit senate.ca.gov/Anderson and click on the “support citizenship assistance for veterans” button.