How to become an American quick

3 March 2005

If you really want to be an American, there's a way to earn your passport. Don a gun, risk your life, wear a US uniform, and you might get lucky like the 50 immigrants who are going to be sworn in at a military neutralisation service at the George Bush Presidential Library in Texas on March 11.

They come from Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and they will all become US citizens by the end of the day.

Washington Foreign Press Center say in an advisory email:

"More than 37,000 immigrants are serving on active-duty with U.S. armed forces around the globe. Since "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was launched in March 2003, approximately 12,000 military personnel have been sworn-in as new US citizens. More than 14,000 military currently have pending applications for US citizenship."

Your application for US citizenship gets fast-tracked once you join the military. And ironically, it becomes an "automatic honour" if you are unfortunate enough to die.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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