FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Men Are Losing Benefits
Vegas, Nev., April 1 Too many Hispanic males are missing
out on important government benefits and programs, observed
Gil Coronado, Director of the Selective Service System, in
a speech given to the National Association of Hispanic Publications,
at its 15th Annual National Convention in Las Vegas.
the ninth Director of the Selective Service System since the
Agencys inception 60 years ago, is its first Hispanic
Director. He was appointed by President Clinton in 1994 to
head the Federal Agency responsible for conducting a military
draft in a crisis. During his speech, Coronado explained that
many Hispanic men are being denied Federal benefits because
of their failure to register with the Selective Service System.
law requires men turning 18 who reside permanently in the
United States, citizens and non-citizens alike, to register
with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th
birthday. About two million men are required to register each
year. Failure to register is a felony and causes a man to
be ineligible for student loans and grants for college, most
Federal and many state jobs, jobs with the U. S. Postal Service,
and Federal job training programs. Registration is also a
requirement for U. S. citizenship, for immigrant men who are
seeking citizenship. All too often, immigrant males are not
aware of this requirement until they apply for citizenship
and, if they are over the age of 26, it is too late for them
to register. By law, the Selective Service System cannot register
any man after he reaches his 26th birthday.
we do not reach Hispanic males to remind them about registration,
America will be on the verge of creating a permanent underclass,"
this end, the Selective Service System and the Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS) recently joined forces to
assist immigrants fulfill their registration requirement.
The result is a revised "Application to Adjust Permanent
Status" (Form I-485), which has been added to the INS
web site. The new form includes a statement informing male
immigrants that their information will be shared with the
Selective Service System for the purpose of registering them.
goal at Selective Service is to make sure that Hispanic males
have an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream,"
says Coronado. "The revision of Form I-485, further ensures
that new immigrants do not unknowingly deny themselves benefits,"