Schumer spokesman Martin Brennan said that the senator wants to help the families of the dead soldiers in any way that would make the application process easier.
This could mean that Schumer’s office will become a central receiving point for citizenship applications that will then be forwarded in bulk to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The way was cleared for the families of the dead men to apply for posthumous citizenship when President Bush recently signed into law the Justice Department’s annual authorization bill.
The bill contained the enabling legislation that will offer posthumous citizenship to those Irish who died in U.S. uniform in the 1950-53 conflict but were never made citizens of their adopted country after the 1953 truce ended the fighting.
Schumer was co-sponsor of the Senate version of the legislation, which was initially launched in the U.S. House of Representatives by a group of Massachusetts congressmen.
For many years the number of dead Irish who were considered eligible for posthumous citizenship stood at nine. But in the last couple of years, largely as a result of an accelerated campaign, that figure has now grown to 29. The latest name added to the list is that of army private first class Thomas S. Quinn, a Roscommon native who was living in Toledo, Ohio, at the time he was drafted. Quinn was killed on Oct. 6, 1951 in North Korea.
“It’s very important that we present the applications as a group,” John Leahy, the Kerry native and Florida-based Korea veteran who spearheaded the posthumous citizenship campaign, said.
In addition to securing Schumer’s assistance, Leahy said that Irish-American organizations that had taken part in the citizenship campaign were now expected to cover any filing fees required by the INS.