JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Naturalization for GIs in WWII #general

Ira Leviton

Dear Cousins,

Judith Lipmanson said that she read that during WWII, European refugees in
the U.S. military were put on a fast track to naturalization because they had
to be citizens before shipping overseas...

This is not exactly true. Refugees in the military were on a fast track, but
it was not faster than for other non-citizens. "Refugees" are a specific
category of people, and account for a small percentage of all immigrants.
Non-citizen soldiers have usually had a fast track to citizenship, in
recognition of their duty to the country. The rules have changed with various
laws, often in response to the political situation.

The laws are very complicated, and older versions are hard to find, but as
far as I can determine, during World War 2, a non-citizen serving in the
military and who had arrived in the U.S. as a child immigrant in 1925 was
treated the same as one who arrived as a refugee in 1938. Of course, their
language ability and other skills may have determined how they were deployed,
and the logistics of naturalization and administering the oath of citizenship
was much easier on U.S. territory.

I believe their age also potentially affected their status, as the minimum
age for naturalization during World War 2 was 21 (and I *think* that this age
requirement applied to military personnel), but boys could be drafted at a
younger age.

This question might be answered more accurately by World War 2 buffs or the
U.S. State Department rather than us humble genealogists.

Ira Leviton
New York, N.Y.

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