Senate considers bill opening path to citizenship for Pa. man

The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a bill that would count time spent serving U.S. agencies overseas toward fulfilling the requirements for citizenship.

That would put a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, man one step closer to his naturalization ceremony.

Right now, George Bou Jaoudeh is in Iraq. He has an American green card, and his wife and children have all become naturalized citizens. Citizenship has eluded Bou Jaoudeh because he works providing security for the State Department in Iraq and hasn’t been able to spend enough time in the U.S. to become a citizen.

That situation was incredible, says Congressman Charlie Dent, who represents the Lehigh Valley. 

Dent introduced legislation in 2010 in the House of Representatives to create a special category for Bou Jaoudeh and others like him so they will benefit from time spent serving the U.S. in dangerous places.

“He’s made such an incredible sacrifice for our country that he should be rewarded and receive citizenship,” said Dent.

The House passed the bill earlier this month. Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey introduced it in the Senate.

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