Sergeant Lightfoot Gets Green Card

Sergeant Lightfoot

Sgt. Lightfoot and Attorney Carl Shusterman

Above, Marine Sergeant Danny Lightfoot and his attorney Carl Shusterman address a press conference immediately after an Immigration Judge granted lawful permanent residence to Sgt. Lightfoot.

Danny Lightfoot joined the US Marine Corps as a teenager. Although Lightfoot was attending school in Miami, his place of birth was in the Bahamas, a recruiter persuaded him to list his country of birth as the U.S. in order to join the Marines. His story began to unravel eleven years later when Sergeant Lightfoot, stationed in Okinawa, was ordered to return to the U.S. with his wife and three sons. Unable to secure U.S. Passports for himself and his family, Lightfoot made a full confession to his superiors.


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The Marine Corps contacted Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) who sent Lightfoot to Attorney Carl Shusterman, a former INS Trial Attorney, for legal advice. Shusterman obtained the permission of his client and the Marine Corps to pursue his case in Immigration Court.  The Los Angeles Times wrote a story about Sergeant Lightfoot.

Sergeant Lightfoot stated “Should I have to make the ultimate sacrifice one day, I would willingly die defending America. My only regret would be that I would not die as an American.”

Both INS and an Immigration Judge agreed to allow Lightfoot to remain in the U.S. because of a military record that included a Navy achievement medal, three good conduct medals, two certificates of commendation, seven letters of appreciation and a meritorious unit commendation. The Judge granted Sergeant Lightfoot’s application for suspension of deportation.

A few months later, the INS expedited Sergeant Lightfoot’s application for U.S. citizenship.

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