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Citizenship Bill For WTC Victims Passes

From El Diario/LA PRENSA

November 16, 2001

By Jose Acosta

The House and Senate approved a bill yesterday introduced by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), which will grant citizenship to the legal residents who perished in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11.

In a telephone interview from Washington, the congressman was pleased with the bill and revealed yesterday that the bill would be approved by the Senate to be later signed by President Bush.

He indicated that citizenship would only be granted to those who sought it before perishing in the tragedy "so that their wish to become American citizens will come true."

"It1s clear that this act of terrorism was directed at Americans. This bill is a symbolic homage. The law will be retroactive, that is, citizenship will be granted with the date September 10, for those who died with the wish to become American citizens," explained Serrano.

The congressman pointed out that the bill would not grant the benefits of citizenship to the families of the victims "although that was my wish," he said.

The new law will be applied to those victims who began the naturalization process with Immigration and Naturalization Service before the tragedy, if their families so wish.

(Translated from Spanish by Armando Reyes)

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