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YOUR VIEWS

Rep. Smith has helped me, and can assist other veterans facing a variety of problems

In a letter to the editor on July 6, the author states that J. Welle, Democratic candidate in the 4th New Jersey District for congress: “Welle spoke to veterans who served in the U.S. military with distinction who were being deported in El Paso, Texas. Welle viewed this treatment of fellow veterans as a gross injustice” Now here is the INA law: Immigrants receive expedited citizenship through their military service (1) continuous residence requirement is waived. (2) Physical presence requirement is waived. (3) USCIS filing fee is waived.

Section 328 of the INA requires the following: (1) Ability to read,,write, and speak English. (2) Civic knowledge of the USA. (3) Served honorably in the USA armed forces for at least one year. (4) Must be 18 or older. (5) Have good moral character. (6) Ready to take oath of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution.

Since 2002 over 100,000 foreign-born U.S. soldiers gained expedited citizenship through their military service.

My suggestion would be for any veteran with citizenship problems contact Rep.. Chris Smith, R-NJ 4th District for assistance. Smith is the “veterans congressman.” As a 100 percent disabled Vietnam veteran, Smith and his staff have assisted me and thousands of veterans over the years with any and all veterans issues.

John Mac Gowan Belmar

NATO members need to pay their fair share

Two articles appeared in Asbury Park Press recently regarding President Donald Trump’s behavior at the recent NATO summit meeting, complaining that America spends more for NATO to defend Europe than the Europeans do on the alliance created 69 years ago to defend Europe.

Of the 28 member nations only five are paying their fair commonly agreed upon share of 2 percent of their GDP. They are: the U.S. at 3.6 percent, Greece at 2.38 percent, Britain at 2.21 percent, Poland at 2 percent % and Estonia at 2.16 percent.

Trump directed special anger toward Germany who complains that it can’t meet NATO’s 2 percent membership rate because it is spending millions on a natural gas pipeline, the Nord Stream 2 under the Baltic Sea, which in the end will make Germany and Europe more dependent and beholding to Russia than ever before.

It’s ridiculous that the Europeans are spending a pittance on their own defense and piggy backing on America. Trump is right, “NATO’ is obsolete.” In 2001 when a response was decided to take action against Afghanistan only a handful of allies had adequate military equipment and resources to meet the challenge.

After Sept 11, 2001, when NATO decided to intervene in Libya, less than a month into it equipment and personnel was inadequate for the job. Now Trump is calling for a 4 percent contribution which I believe is a pipe dream, being that members consistently fail to meet the 2 percent recommendation.

If the members refuse or are legitimately unable to make their financial obligations other arrangements must be made or as in any organization you are discharged or penalized in some way or asked to leave.

Edward Balyk, Ph. D. Keansburg

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