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Soldier fighting in Iraq also fights for his U.S. citizenship

Soldier fighting in Iraq also fights for his U.S. citizenship

A Russian-born soldier who is fighting in Iraq is also battling to get his U.S. citizenship, according to a news report.
Pvt. Stepan Provorov, who is stationed at the Fort Lewis military based, joined the U.S. Army last year and applied for American, citizenship so he could bring his wife and children from Russia.
The process has been slow, despite letters and visits to immigration offices by his commanders in Baghdad.
"We're getting to the point where we have exhausted every resource and it's frustrating," Lt. Craig Coppock, Provorov's platoon leader in Baghdad, told The News Tribune. "All there needs to be is for someone to say OK. No one can tell us why that can't happen."
In May, Provorov, 30, had an immigration interview and passed tests on English, U.S. history and government.
The FBI also has finished its checks, but a separate background check by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services remains incomplete.
Provorov sought congressional help, but Ruth Clapp, an aide to Democratic lawmaker Adam Smith, told the newspaper there was little they could do to speed the process. She did say people who asked for help with background checks eventually got the immigration benefit they wanted.
"Sadly, many of them had to wait a very long time _ several years in some cases," she wrote in an e-mail to Provorov.
Provorov grew up in Siberia, experiencing the chaos of post-Soviet Russia. His brother died in a shootout and he said his own life was threatened, he told the newspaper.
In 1996, he went to Chicago, where his father had friends. Two years later he was granted asylum.
Provorov met his wife while she was visiting friends and he was working multiple jobs selling cars and driving cab.
She had to leave when her visa expired, so Provorov got a green card and joined the Army in September 2005 with the goal of bringing her back to the U.S.


Updated : 2021-04-17 23:40 GMT+08:00