washingtonpost.com - 6 days ago
Foreign-born recruits, promised citizenship by the Pentagon, flee the country to avoid deportation
U.S. troops are sworn in as naturalized citizens on Nov. 2, 2012, at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
(State Department) Frustrated by delayed promises from the U.S. military for citizenship, and in fear of the Islamic State if he were deported back to Iraq, Ranj Rafeeq has given up the American Dream for a Canadian one. Rafeeq was eager as a teenager to translate for U.S. troops stationed in his home town of Kirkuk in 2005. He immigrated to Portland, Ore., to study seven years later, hoping to don an Army uniform after earning his graduate degree in civil engineering. He signed an enlistment contract in January 2016, with a training date set in September. “I loved American soldiers. It was my dream to be a part of them,” Rafeeq, now 29, told The Washington Post. [The Pentagon promised citizenship to immigrants who served.
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