"As of January, about 41,000 permanent resident aliens were in the U.S. armed forces, 3,639 of them from Mexico. The Mexicans are the largest group among the 63 immigrants who have been killed in action in Iraq, the Pentagon says" (James C. McKinley Jr., "In Mexico, Burying Soldiers Killed in a U.S. War," New York Times/International Herald Tribune 23 Mar. 2005).
The New York Times accompanied McKinley's article with Adriana Zehbrauskas' photographs of Pfc. Jesús Fonseca, a Mexican soldier "who died in Iraq at the age of 19," and his family:
While the military entice immigrant youth with the promise of expedited citizenship and fallen non-citizen soldiers are awarded posthumous citizenship, "no such program exists for soldiers seeking citizenship for their spouses" (Angeles Gonzalez, "U.S. Soldier’s Wife Denied Citizenship," SiliconValleyDeBug.com/Pacific News Service 31 Mar. 2005). Specialist Jaime Lepe, now serving in central Iraq, is unable to bring his wife Areli to the United States. She, a Mexican national, was "recently denied entry into the U.S." (Gonzalez, 31 Mar. 2005).
Mr. Fonseca was eulogized as a hero, though some at the burial struggled to connect his sacrifice to Mexico, where many people oppose the Iraq war or are indifferent to it (Adriana Zehbrauskas/New York Times).
Private Fonseca's grandmother, Amada Ayala García, fought back tears when she was asked whether she supported the war that had taken her grandson's life (Adriana Zehbrauskas/New York Times).