Supporting New American Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families, 95849-95851 [2016-31690]

Download as PDF 95849 Presidential Documents Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 249 Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Title 3— Memorandum of December 22, 2016 The President Supporting New American Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies My Administration has maintained a steadfast commitment to honor and serve the brave men and women who have served this country. Like all service members and veterans, foreign-born residents and naturalized citizens serving in the United States Armed Forces are shining examples of the American dream. These brave new Americans have taken the extraordinary step of answering the call to duty, to support and defend our country. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country before becoming American citizens. New American service members are undoubtedly a critical element of our national security. They risk their lives all over the world in the name of the United States, securing shipping lanes, protecting bases and embassies, providing medical assistance, and conducting humanitarian missions. Tens of thousands of lawful permanent residents and naturalized U.S. citizens currently serve in our Armed Forces. Many more are veterans who have served previously in the Armed Forces. Additionally, many U.S.-born service members have immediate family members who were born abroad. Over the past decade, the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security have strengthened partnerships to provide services and opportunities to service members, veterans, and their families interacting with the U.S. immigration system. Indeed, since 2001, more than 110,000 service members have been naturalized and many were assisted in the process through partnerships such as the ‘‘Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative,’’ which gives non-citizen enlistees the opportunity to naturalize during basic training. Despite these efforts, service members, veterans, and their families still face barriers to accessing immigration benefits and other assistance for which they may be eligible. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PRES DOCS In light of the sacrifices that all of these individuals make and have made for our country, it is critical that executive departments and agencies (agencies) enhance collaboration and streamline processes to ensure that they receive the services and benefits they need and have earned. Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to address the issues facing new American service members, veterans, and their families, I hereby direct as follows: Section 1. Interagency Working Group to Support New American Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. There is established a Working Group to Support New American Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (Working Group) to coordinate records, benefits, and immigration and citizenship services for these service members, veterans, and their families. The Working Group shall convene its first meeting within 10 days of the date of this memorandum. (a) The Working Group shall consist of representatives from: (i) the Department of State; (ii) the Department of Defense; (iii) the Department of Justice; VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:57 Dec 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\28DEO0.SGM 28DEO0 95850 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 28, 2016 / Presidential Documents (iv) the Department of Labor; (v) the Department of Veterans Affairs; and (vi) the Department of Homeland Security. (b) The Working Group shall consult with additional agencies or offices, as appropriate. Sec. 2. Mission and Functions of the Working Group. (a) The Working Group shall coordinate agency efforts to support service members, veterans, and their families who are navigating the immigration, veterans, and military systems. Such efforts shall include: (i) coordinating the sharing of military records and other information relevant to immigration or veterans benefits; (ii) enhancing awareness of naturalization and immigration benefits to provide timely assistance and information to service members, veterans, and their families; (iii) coordinating and facilitating the process of adjudicating immigration applications and petitions; and (iv) other efforts that further support service members, veterans, and their families. (b) Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, the Working Group shall develop an initial 3-year strategic action plan that details broad approaches to be taken to enhance access to services and benefits. This initial plan shall be supplemented by a more detailed plan, to be published within 120 days of the date of this memorandum that discusses the steps to be taken in greater detail. The Working Group shall also report periodically on its accomplishments and ongoing initiatives. Sec. 3. Outreach. Consistent with the objectives of this memorandum and applicable law, the Working Group shall seek the views of representatives of private and nonprofit organizations; veterans and military service organizations; State, tribal, and local government agencies; elected officials; and other interested persons to inform the Working Group’s plans. Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of agencies shall assist and provide information to the Working Group, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Working Group. Each agency and office shall bear its own expense for carrying out activities related to the Working Group. (b) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the authority granted by law to an executive department or an agency, or the head thereof, or the status of that department or agency within the Federal Government. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PRES DOCS (c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:57 Dec 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\28DEO0.SGM 28DEO0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 28, 2016 / Presidential Documents 95851 (d) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. (e) The Secretary of Homeland Security is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register. THE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, December 22, 2016. [FR Doc. 2016–31690 Filed 12–27–16; 11:15 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:57 Dec 27, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\28DEO0.SGM 28DEO0 OB#1.EPS</GPH> sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PRES DOCS Billing code 4410–10–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 249 (Wednesday, December 28, 2016)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 95849-95851]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-31690]



[[Page 95847]]

Vol. 81

Wednesday,

No. 249

December 28, 2016

Part V





The President





-----------------------------------------------------------------------



Memorandum of December 22, 2016--Supporting New American Service 
Members, Veterans, and Their Families


                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 249 / Wednesday, December 28, 2016 / 
Presidential Documents

___________________________________________________________________

Title 3--
The President

[[Page 95849]]

                Memorandum of December 22, 2016

                
 Supporting New American Service Members, 
                Veterans, and Their Families

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 
                Agencies

                My Administration has maintained a steadfast commitment 
                to honor and serve the brave men and women who have 
                served this country. Like all service members and 
                veterans, foreign-born residents and naturalized 
                citizens serving in the United States Armed Forces are 
                shining examples of the American dream. These brave new 
                Americans have taken the extraordinary step of 
                answering the call to duty, to support and defend our 
                country. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice for our 
                country before becoming American citizens.

                New American service members are undoubtedly a critical 
                element of our national security. They risk their lives 
                all over the world in the name of the United States, 
                securing shipping lanes, protecting bases and 
                embassies, providing medical assistance, and conducting 
                humanitarian missions. Tens of thousands of lawful 
                permanent residents and naturalized U.S. citizens 
                currently serve in our Armed Forces. Many more are 
                veterans who have served previously in the Armed 
                Forces. Additionally, many U.S.-born service members 
                have immediate family members who were born abroad.

                Over the past decade, the Departments of Defense, 
                Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security have 
                strengthened partnerships to provide services and 
                opportunities to service members, veterans, and their 
                families interacting with the U.S. immigration system. 
                Indeed, since 2001, more than 110,000 service members 
                have been naturalized and many were assisted in the 
                process through partnerships such as the 
                ``Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative,'' which 
                gives non-citizen enlistees the opportunity to 
                naturalize during basic training. Despite these 
                efforts, service members, veterans, and their families 
                still face barriers to accessing immigration benefits 
                and other assistance for which they may be eligible.

                In light of the sacrifices that all of these 
                individuals make and have made for our country, it is 
                critical that executive departments and agencies 
                (agencies) enhance collaboration and streamline 
                processes to ensure that they receive the services and 
                benefits they need and have earned. Therefore, by the 
                authority vested in me as President by the Constitution 
                and the laws of the United States of America, and to 
                address the issues facing new American service members, 
                veterans, and their families, I hereby direct as 
                follows:

                Section 1. Interagency Working Group to Support New 
                American Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. 
                There is established a Working Group to Support New 
                American Service Members, Veterans, and their Families 
                (Working Group) to coordinate records, benefits, and 
                immigration and citizenship services for these service 
                members, veterans, and their families. The Working 
                Group shall convene its first meeting within 10 days of 
                the date of this memorandum.

                    (a) The Working Group shall consist of 
                representatives from:

(i) the Department of State;

(ii) the Department of Defense;

(iii) the Department of Justice;

[[Page 95850]]

(iv) the Department of Labor;

(v) the Department of Veterans Affairs; and

(vi) the Department of Homeland Security.

                    (b) The Working Group shall consult with additional 
                agencies or offices, as appropriate.

                Sec. 2. Mission and Functions of the Working Group. (a) 
                The Working Group shall coordinate agency efforts to 
                support service members, veterans, and their families 
                who are navigating the immigration, veterans, and 
                military systems. Such efforts shall include:

(i) coordinating the sharing of military records and other information 
relevant to immigration or veterans benefits;

(ii) enhancing awareness of naturalization and immigration benefits to 
provide timely assistance and information to service members, veterans, and 
their families;

(iii) coordinating and facilitating the process of adjudicating immigration 
applications and petitions; and

(iv) other efforts that further support service members, veterans, and 
their families.

                    (b) Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, 
                the Working Group shall develop an initial 3-year 
                strategic action plan that details broad approaches to 
                be taken to enhance access to services and benefits. 
                This initial plan shall be supplemented by a more 
                detailed plan, to be published within 120 days of the 
                date of this memorandum that discusses the steps to be 
                taken in greater detail. The Working Group shall also 
                report periodically on its accomplishments and ongoing 
                initiatives.

                Sec. 3. Outreach. Consistent with the objectives of 
                this memorandum and applicable law, the Working Group 
                shall seek the views of representatives of private and 
                nonprofit organizations; veterans and military service 
                organizations; State, tribal, and local government 
                agencies; elected officials; and other interested 
                persons to inform the Working Group's plans.

                Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of agencies 
                shall assist and provide information to the Working 
                Group, consistent with applicable law, as may be 
                necessary to carry out the functions of the Working 
                Group. Each agency and office shall bear its own 
                expense for carrying out activities related to the 
                Working Group.

                    (b) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed 
                to impair or otherwise affect the authority granted by 
                law to an executive department or an agency, or the 
                head thereof, or the status of that department or 
                agency within the Federal Government.
                    (c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent 
                with applicable law and subject to the availability of 
                appropriations.

[[Page 95851]]

                    (d) This memorandum is not intended to, and does 
                not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
                procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any 
                party against the United States, its departments, 
                agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or 
                agents, or any other person.
                    (e) The Secretary of Homeland Security is hereby 
                authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in 
                the Federal Register.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, December 22, 2016.

[FR Doc. 2016-31690
Filed 12-27-16; 11:15 am]
Billing code 4410-10-P