Photo Source: Los Angeles Times
As part of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, noncitizens who serve in the military one year during peace time or one day during wartime are eligible to apply for fast-tracked citizenship. In 2002, President George W. Bush issued an executive order and invoked the wartime law as of Sept. 11, 2001.
Shortly after 9/11, Mexico-born Ekaterina Bautista decided to enlist in the U.S. Army, serving the United States for six consecutive years, including a 13-month tour of duty in Iraq. So what exactly prompted her adoptive country to put her application for naturalization on hold, despite the completion of all the paper work and civics exam as well as a clean record and exemplary patriotism that earned her a Combat Action Badge? She had served under a false identity because she had been told that her Mexican passport would not suffice in order to enlist.