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Public Statements

The Role Immigrants Have Served in Serving Our Armed Forces

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Madam Speaker, immigrants have served in our Armed Forces with courage and dignity since the Revolutionary War. Even today, they continue to defend our country's freedom. They've even earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Nation's highest military decoration. For example, Alfred Rascon, an undocumented immigrant during his service in the Vietnam War received the Medal of Honor for his courage and dedication to America.

Immigrants have also reached the highest ranks in the U.S. military. General John Shalikashvili, an immigrant from Poland who came to the United States after World War II, was a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From 2002 to 2005, over 15,000 immigrants have served in our armed services and later completed their naturalization process. There are thousands of other success stories that we should honor. We cannot ignore these positive contributions and the unique and valuable functions that immigrants perform.

I urge my colleagues to support a comprehensive immigration reform on behalf of those servicemen and women and their families.

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