Skip to main content

Throughout America’s history, immigrants have given much in return through their service in the military. Many immigrants have sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in a number of ways. In researching the past and present contributions of immigrants to America’s military, this report from the National Foundation for American Policy found:

  • 80,000 immigrants serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, representing 6% of service members on active duty.
  • More than 1.5 million veterans of U.S. military service are immigrants or the children of immigrants.
  • Approximately 539,000 immigrants are veterans.
  • 5% of veterans who served after the September 11, 2001, attacks were immigrants and 10% were the children of immigrants.
  • 22% (759 of 3,508) of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients have been immigrants.
  • There have been 59 Hispanic-American and 33 Asian-American Medal of Honor recipients, though not all of them were immigrants.
  • Refugee scientists, many of the world’s most brilliant scientists and mathematicians, played crucial roles in successfully developing the atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project.
  • Immigrants in the U.S. military are experiencing much greater obstacles when attempting to become U.S. citizens. The denial rate for military naturalizations increased from 7% in FY 2016 to 17% in FY 2019, a 143% increase in the denial rate, according to a National Foundation for American Policy analysis. Moreover, as a result of several policies, between FY 2016 and FY 2019 the number of immigrants in the military who naturalized dropped by 54%, from 8,606 in FY 2016 to 3,987 in FY 2019.

As seen above, immigrants make America great and they should be celebrated on this Memorial Day.

*Download Social Media Asset Below*