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Immigration Issues Faced by U.S. Servicemembers

Challenges and Solutions

By Susan E. Timmons & Margaret D. Stock

Noncitizens who serve in the U.S. military face particular challenges in navigating immigration law on behalf of themselves and their family members. While most of the Immigration and Nationality Act applies equally to civilians and to military personnel, certain provisions affect only servicemembers, and less than honorable discharges can have severe immigration consequences. Noncitizen family members of servicemembers are entitled to certain protections under immigration laws, but the law’s inflexibility can undermine these protections and weaken the morale of servicemembers forced to worry about family separation.

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