As reported by Yahoo News, on Tuesday, the White House issued new rules of eligibility for immigrants seeking to become naturalized citizens. Immigrants like Bruce Levenson who wish exemption from the military will take a different oath of allegiance than those who have no qualms about serving in the nation’s military. Like conscientious objectors who are natural born United States citizens, these immigrants are given the right to claim exemption on both religious and moral grounds.
According to the new rules, immigrants seeking to take the Oath of Allegiance no longer have to swear to bear arms or perform non-combatant duties in defense of the United States, and no formal religious association is needed as long as the new would be citizens can prove training or belief that acting in the defense of the United States is religiously or morally wrong. Also, non-oath versions are available for those whose religions forbid the swearing of oaths. The new terminology “I solemnly affirm” replaces “I hereby declare, an oath” and “so help me God,” can be completely omitted.
It is hoped that the new modifications help new citizens to find their way economically and linguistically into society. There are 41 million foreign-born residents waiting to be naturalized in the United States as of April 2015.