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Thursday, November 01, 2007

HELP FOR A US NAVY VET WITHOUT A COUNTRY






We have a military veteran friend who was honorably discharged during the Vietnam era. He served in the US Navy while having dual citizenship (Canadian/US). He was born in Canada and his family moved to New York when he was a child and became dual Canadian and US Citizens.

After discharge my friend worked in the US for over 3 decades, paying US taxes and Social Security. When it came time to retire and apply for his pension he was informed that the US Department of Homeland Security had revoked his US citizenship and did not recognize his Canadian citizenship.

The Social Security Administration will not begin his pension payments until his citizenship issue is resolved. He has been trying to work this matter through the VA, his local representatives in government (congressional level) and directly through the Social Security Office. No one seems to know what to do, who should take action and who has responsibility. The DHS will not reply to his inquiries. Any ideas?



POST SCRIPT: This request was sent to DHS today:

ANTHONY ALDO ROSE
MINNESOTA STATE VETERAN’S HOME HASTINGS
1200 18TH STREET
BOX 202
HASTINGS, MINNESOTA 55033

(Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested)

11 November 2007

Mr. Brian J. Welsh
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P. O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010

Subject: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request for Records

Enclosure: DD Form 214 – Discharge from United States Armed Forces

Dear Mr. Welsh:

The purpose of this letter is to request records in my name on file in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The undersigned is a US Navy veteran who is a resident in a state veteran’s facility in Hastings, Minnesota. I am writing to you on Veteran’s Day to request any and all records on file at the Department of Homeland Security pertinent to my citizenship in the United States of America and the disposition of my records status as a citizen of the US, to include notifying the US Social Security Administration of my citizenship status.

I have lived in the United States since 1946 having moved from Windser, Ontario, Canada to Detroit Michigan with my family that year. I attained dual citizenship in Canada and the United States and achieved a US Social Security Number. I served in the Armed Forces of the US honorably and I have paid state and federal taxes to include social security from 1963 to the present in the United States of America.

In 2006, upon my retirement, I applied for my Social Security Pension and was informed by the Social Security Administration that the Department of Homeland Security had taken administrative records action that denied my citizenship status and precluded my being able to obtain my pension. I have attempted to resolve this matter for over a year and have been without a pension during that period.

Pursuant to requesting a hearing with regard to this matter I hereby request copies of all records in the Department of Homeland Security against my name, my social security number, my service number, my former addresses and my citizenship status, to include correspondence to other agencies such as the Social Security Administration.


Anthony Aldo Rose

UPDATE:

http://www.linkedin.com/answers/government-non-profit/government-policy/GOV_GPO/123518-8495987?browseIdx=0&sik=1219784121572&goback=%2Eamq




14 comments:

landsker said...

Don`t know much about it, but how about a call to the Canadians, maybe better to live in Canada, than to die in the U.S.
Otherwise, I would suggest making a huge peaceful protest.
Like 10 gallons of pink paint spread around the local military recruitment centre.
There is nothing like pink paint on a soldiers` butt to show the folly of war.
Or maybe red paint?
Purple even?

On a less scurrilous note, perhaps a call to Kucinich, who is proposing the impeachment of cheney, but maybe his office would welcome such a "test.".

Other than that, if your friend has European ancestry, then many countries, particularly Ireland, Poland and Spain offer the "Right of return" to people who can show a line from a grandparent or such.
Google search "right of return".

Ireland particularly offers a reasonable financial support to pension-aged (65+) citizens, plus socialised housing and medicine.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Recovered Glasses

Write your congressman from the area you are now living in and explain the situation to them.

This seems like a simple problem to resolve, but the problem with problems, is that they can't be resolved from the bottom up, but rather from the top down.

Your congressman should be able to provide you with a solution that will solve your problem.

Remember one thing the person on the other end of the line that you are talking to can probably relate to the problem but if you assume that they are to blame, the situation could get worse.

Ask for help. But don't point a finger. They will help you. It is just a matter of whether they felt inspired by you to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Deanie
Thanks for Reading my Tribute to Our Vets. Your note telling me makes me so Angry on how our Goverment and all those envolved are treating this friend of yours (with out a country) and in this day and age, is deplorable. I am at a loss to want to tell you as seems that every thing was done the right way, to no avail. I did share your blog site with a ex Navy friend to see what he has to say. My thought was to, (if all else fails), go to a TV program with this story and that would grab attention and an investigation to pursue. A shame to have to go to the media, but I believe that would work. I pray for him for this to be resolved soon. Let him know, We as Americans thank him from the bottom of our Hearts and we want this for him more then you know. Deanie
November 09 3:44 PM

Desert Beacon said...

I, too, would recommend a call to your Congressional representative's office, and one to at least one of your state's Senators, with follow up letters. As, Jim observes in his comment, provide all the details you can and ask that they investigate how and why this situation might have developed. And...keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

P.S. Here is where I would try to get in contact to the Montel William's Show on TV. He's a retired Navy man, bet he would jump to help or even know where to go for help. God Bless, Deanie

Anonymous said...

Check this out http://forums.military.com/eve/forums

Anonymous said...

Yes. Go to John Warner. He is my representative. But, he is very up on such matters and always follows through promptly. I had to go to him twice about a similar matter when no one else would help! [the citizenship matter] FYI, the US has never recognized dual citizenship. Had the political climate been different during Vietnam, this might have been caught. When he became a citizen here, his Canadian citizen was supposed to be revoked as a condition of accepting American citizenship. Did his family give up Canadian Citizenship? If so, when and how old was he at the time? This may be a key factor in expediting his claim.

In his letter to John Warner he needs his Immigration file #, when his parents came here, how old was he at the time, when his parents became US citizens, if they did so, how old he was at the time. When he returned from Vietnam and his tour was up did he apply for US citizenship? He night consider sending copies of all related documents in his military records, including his DD-214.

p.s., I see no indication that he has talked to immigrations about this issue. It would not hurt to seek their advice.

As for this being the problem of the current administration, they have no bearing on his case. His parents should have taken care of this or he had the option to become a citizen after his Vietnam Service. Technically when his parents either passed away or he became of age he should have had to get his own permanent resident status established, become a citizen, or go back to Canada. As the former spouse of an alien, now citizen, I know there are initiatives that he or his family needed to take years ago.

As I said before, the US has not and does not recognize dual citizenship to the best of my knowledge. It is considered the alien's responsibility to initiate a change of status, including requesting citizenship. I don't believe the Veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are automatically given citizenship without first asking for that or having it offered at the time of enlistment. I do believe the process is greatly circumvented for these Veterans so they can become citizens.

Also, has he contacted the local American Legion and Vet Center[not part of VA]? They are also very helpful. This situation he finds himself in has probably happened on occasion before.

Frankly, I would write a letter to the President and th Mr. Gage. I would explain the pertinent details and ask for them to by pass the normal channels and award him his citizenship under Executive Order to fix an outstanding oversight for a Veteran of Vietnam.

devildog6771

Axqi said...

The correct answer is as follows: whether the veteran is a US citizen or not is irrelevant; while the USG certainly DOES "recognize" the fact of dual nationality
http://tinyurl.com/63oeg (State Dept. site) it doesn't matter whether he is American, Canadian or both. The DHS cannot "revoke" citizenship: only a court on application from the State Dept. Furthermore social security is not dependent upon US citizenship in this case, the more so since he is a US resident and nobody is suggesting he will be deported.

Easiest solution: he should apply for a Canadian passport at the nearest Canadian consulate and claim a social security pension under the TOTALIZATION AGREEMENT with Canada. Either the SSA or the Canada Pension Plan will combine his earnings in the two countries and one or both will pay him a pension, backdated (or increased for late commencement).

RoseCovered Glasses said...

Thank you Axqui, for your informed answer. We will certainly follow-up on your suggestions.

UPDATE:

The Social Security Administration has informed us that the Mr. Rose's name appeared in a DHS security screen, (probably the now defunct Trailblazer 1.9B system) which never worked and was abandoned.

However, Social Security and DHS have an internal policy that no one appearing in the now defunct list can get a pension until he is investigated thoroughly. We have it on good authority that there are many US citizens caught in this snare. It is manage by exception and we are in the cue with everyone else caught in this unfortunate BS.

Our FOIA at DHS is now over 4 months old in violation of the public laws regarding such matters. We have been informed that the whole issue has been forwarded by immigration to at the following contact point:

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P. O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010
FOIA Officer/Requester Service Center Contact: Patricia Keltner
Phone: 816-350-5570
Fax: 816-350-5785
E-mail: uscis.foia@dhs.gov

We are expediting the above person daily by email, fax, phone calls and letters form multiple sources and getting no reponse.

In the mean time Mr. Rose just celebrated his 67th Birthday without a pension at the Minnesota Veteran’s Home in Hastings, Minnesota. His social security check has now been held up now for 2 years. He servied his country honorably and paid into SS for over 40 years.

Anonymous said...

Did this ever get resolved? Did he ever get his file from FOIA unit? Do we know what it said? It may shed some light on this interesting situation.

RoseCovered Glasses said...

Tony finally got his FOIA. He is now seeking legal help to pursue his case.

RoseCovered Glasses said...

UPDATE AS OF 6 JUNE 2008

Tony now has a lawyer, "Pro Bono", who is taking his case to the government and looking into other venues to right this terrible wrong.

The volunteer came to us via "Linked In" and has been a blessing to Tony's hopes for a reasonable retirement.

RoseCovered Glasses said...

No action from the lawyer.

Typical continuation of dissapointments.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I am humbled by your dedication perseverance and drive to your friend and his cause, I am grateful to the powers that be, for the chance of being a part of the journey. Grateful to you personally for kicking
my butt when I was lost and stagnant... I owe you for the opportunity amd dor your strength and vision. COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU. STELLA