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Rep. Barragán Applauds Passage of Bill to Create Pathways to Citizenship for Veterans

The Veteran Service Recognitions Act of 2021 will create a committee in the Department of Homeland Security to review cases


December 7, 2022

Contact: Kevin McGuire


WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Yesterday, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) voted to pass H.R. 7946, the Veteran Service Recognitions Act of 2022.  The bill makes naturalization easier for active service members and prevents the deportation of noncitizen Veterans by creating a pathway for Veterans and their families to obtain lawful permanent status in the United States.

“It’s unforgivable that Veterans who have served, many having fought and put their lives on the line, for our country are locked out of being recognized as an American because they are noncitizens,” said Rep. Barragán.  “If the U.S. Military can recruit and train noncitizens to fight, then they should be able to call the country that they fought for home.  This bill makes a promise to all immigrant active service members and Veterans that America is their home. The Senate should take up this bill immediately and send it to President Biden’s desk.”

Congresswoman Barragán has been a leader in supporting a pathway to citizenship for Veterans.  Last year, the Congresswoman introduced the Veterans’ Pathway to Citizenship Act of 2021, legislation that would grant lawful permanent resident status to any former Member of the Armed forces. A provision of this Act to inform non-citizen military service members of their options to become naturalized citizens was included in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.  

Since the Revolutionary War, immigrants have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and today, there are approximately 45,000 immigrants in active service. The Veteran Service Recognitions Act of 2022 would establish a committee inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense that ensures noncitizen service members can file for naturalization during basic training, or as early as otherwise possible. The bill would provide opportunities for noncitizen Veterans who were removed or ordered removed, and were not convicted of serious crimes, to obtain lawful permanent resident status. Immediate family members of service members or Veterans with an approved immigrant status will also have the opportunity to adjust their status and obtain a green card, as long as they are otherwise admissible.


Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington. She serves as chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security, and on the House Energy and Commerce Health, Energy, and Environment & Climate Change Subcommittees.