In this noteworthy immigration case, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted citizenship to a former Vietnam War veteran who had resided in the United States for more than 50 years. The veteran had been denied citizenship by the immigration service due to a manslaughter conviction more than 20 years earlier, in 1986. As the service conceded, this denial was improper because only such convictions occurring since 1990 preclude citizenship. Thus the proper inquiry was whether the veteran met the statutory requirement of "good moral character" during the period beginning one year before he applied for citizenship. In an opinion containing an in-depth discussion of the "good moral character" requirement, the Court held that in light of extensive evidence of the veteran's rehabilitation and recent valuable service to his community as a professional substance-abuse counselor and active church-member, he did satisfy the statutory requirement and was entitled to citizenship.
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