With the help of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School, Arnold Giammarco, a recently deported U.S. Army veteran battling to return home to his family, filed a federal lawsuit on November 12, 2013 to compel the government to decide his 1982 citizenship application.
“By law, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) must adjudicate these applications within a reasonable time. The agency has violated its duty for over three decades,” said Elizabeth Song, a law student intern in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School, which represents Giammarco.
Arnold Giammarco moved to the United States with his parents in 1960, when he was four years old. He was a lawful permanent resident and grew up in Hartford, Conn. Giammarco enlisted in the U.S. Army as a teenager, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, a U.S. citizen who had fought in World War I. After his honorable discharge in 1979, Giammarco joined the Connecticut National Guard. He applied for U.S. citizenship in 1982, but the government never finished processing his application. In 2011, federal agents arrested Giammarco at his home, placed him in removal proceedings based on minor offenses from nearly a decade ago, and detained him for 18 months without bond.
Despite his still-pending citizenship application, the government deported Giammarco to Italy in November 2012. He has struggled there ever since, separated from his family and longing to return home.
“Mr. Giammarco performed his duty. The government should do the same,” stated Garry Monk, Executive Director of the National Veterans Council for Legal Redress.
“There is no justice in deporting my husband,” said Giammarco’s wife, Sharon Giammarco, of Niantic, Conn. “Our family depends on him.”
It has been 351 days since immigration officials deported Arnold from his American family and the country he honorably served.