BY NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 18, 2022: As the United States marks another Veterans Day, News Americas has found that some 3,890 Jamaican and Haitian born nationals serving in the US military have become U.S. citizens in the past five years.
This means they are also eligible to vote. In Fiscal Year 2022 alone, 1,080 Jamaicans became naturalized US citizens, the highest number in the five-year period from 2018-2022. In Fiscal Year 2021, USCIS data show there were 880 naturalized Jamaican born US military personnel compared to just 380 in 2020.
Service members born in Jamaica was the second top country of those naturalized while Haiti was 7th in the list of Top 10.
Some 460 Haitian nationals serving in the U.S. military became naturalized in Fiscal Year 2022, also the highest number for the five-year period. In 2021 there was 210 while in FY 2020 there was 110. In FY 2018 and 2018, there was 100, respectively.
Overall, most are men in the US Army who are between 26 and 30. Half of all service members were between 22 and 30 years old when they naturalized. More than 148,000 immigrants have served and earned citizenship through the military in the last 20 years.
Since the Revolutionary War, immigrants have been a vital part of the United States military. In fact each year about 8,000 non-citizens enlist in the U.S. armed forces. According to the U.S. Defense Department, there are currently 30,000-plus non-citizens serving on active duty. More than 4,100 of these dedicated soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in all branches of the U.S. military. Since September 2002, USCIS has naturalized over 107,000 members of the military. The top two countries of origin with immigrants in the military are the Philippines and Mexico.