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95 year old war vet discovers he's not a US citizen. Should he be deported?


Ninety-five-year-old Leeland Davidson discovered recently that he's not considered a U.S. citizen, despite living nearly 100 years in the country and serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

Davidson, from Centralia, Washington, told KOMO News that he discovered he wasn't a U.S. citizen when he was turned down for an enhanced driver's license he needed for a trip to Canada to visit relatives.

"We always figured because he was born to U.S. parents he's automatically a U.S. citizen," said Davidson's daughter, Rose Schoolcroft.


Davidson was born in British Columbia in 1916, but his parents didn't register the birth with the U.S. government to ensure they knew he was a citizen. He checked up on his citizenship before joining the Navy and was told by an inspector at the U.S. Department of Labor Immigration and Naturalization Service he had nothing to worry about. Now he worries that he won't be able to prove his citizenship, because his parents were born in Iowa before local governments started keeping records of birth certificates in 1880. "I want it squared away before I pass away," he says.

Schoolcraft says they tried to dissuade him from pursuing the matter. Employees at the local passport office scared them, telling her father "If he pursued it, (he could) possibly be deported or [be] at risk of losing Social Security."

"We keep telling him, leave it alone, leave it alone, and he won't, like a dog with a bone," Schoolcraft told the Centralia Chronicle. But Davidson says: "I want to get it done before I die." He also still wants to visit his friends and family in Canada. Sen Patty Murray's office is helping him with his application.


Asked by DusterMommy at 4:54 PM on Mar. 24, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 26 (27,467 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (26)
  • No. He served this country at wartime, went to war WITH our military. My today's, standards? he'd be considered a citizen (right?). So, no, he should not be deported. And he should just be granted citizenship and be left alone.

    Answer by Raine2001 at 5:47 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • since he was told he could possibly be deported

    Honestly, I think he was told that because the people at the passport office didn't want to do all the paperwork they'd need to do to help him track down proof of citizenship.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:07 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • He checked up on his citizenship before joining the Navy and was told by an inspector at the U.S. Department of Labor Immigration and Naturalization Service he had nothing to worry about.

    Sounds like bureaucratic miscommunication... I would imagine he can follow the process and get this resolved.....


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 5:35 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • No he should not be. He served his country he is 95 years old. It would be a mistake to deport him. They weren't worried about it when he signed up it shouldn't be an issue now.

    Answer by Charis76 at 5:03 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • The poor guy!
    His parents were American born.....

    Answer by minnesotanice at 5:31 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • He's not illegal, he's just missing paperwork. Not remotely the same thing, so why would he be deported?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:47 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • No..he served the country in a major war ..and he's 95 yrs old to boot.I consider him an American for the fact that he served in that war alone.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 7:53 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Lawless behavior can not be encouraged.
    We have no money.
    Send him packing on the next bus heading north.
    The usual responses.

    Yes, for ILLEGALS that have done nothing but, MOOCH off of taxpayers. He is veteran, he has fought a war for this country and if he persues it, he will be given citizenship for his service. He was born to citizens, he has lived as a citizen and paid into the system as a citizen does. What have most of the ILLEGALS done for this country? Besides cost us money.


    Answer by matthewscandi at 9:03 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • If he was enough of an American citizen to be sent off to war then he's an American citizen, imo. He just needs a bit of paperwork.

    Answer by SuperChicken at 8:58 AM on Mar. 25, 2011

  • No the poor guy is gonna be gone soon anyways. I hope they don't do that to him.

    Answer by MarGeee at 5:43 PM on Mar. 24, 2011