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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 07:16 AM
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Banished Veterans
http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20101029/news/ne...
<snip>
Coombs, 43, born in Jamaica, immigrated to the United States legally as a child with his family. He signed up to serve his adopted nation for six years - first in Japan and the Philippines, then in the Persian Gulf during the first war with Iraq.

Up to 8,000 non-citizens enlist in the US Armed Forces every year and serve alongside American troops. As of May 2010, there were 16,966 non-citizens on active duty. The military does not allow illegal immigrants to enlist.

If non-citizens die while serving, they are given citizenship and a military funeral. If they live and get in trouble with the law, as Coombs did, they can get caught in the net of a 1996 immigration law that greatly expanded the list of crimes for which non-citizens can be deported.

"As far as I was concerned, I was a citizen," said Coombs, whose soft-spoken, introspective nature contrast with his physical presence. Coombs stands 6 foot 5 (1.96 metres) and weighs more than 260 pounds (118 kilograms) - a gentle giant, according to his fiance, Robyn Sword.
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