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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Defense bill amendment sets up immigration fight

    By Rebecca Kheel - 05/11/16 04:10 PM EDT

    An annual defense policy bill is once again becoming embroiled in the debate over immigration.

    Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) filed an amendment to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would strip out and replace language affirming the Defense secretary's ability to enlist anyone who is determined to be "vital to the national interest."

    That would leave the door open to enlisting illegal immigrants if the person in question has an employment authorization issued under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    The language was added to the bill as an amendment during the House Armed Services Committee’s markup last month.

    It was a substitute amendment offered by committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) after Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) introduced an amendment that would have directed the Defense secretary to establish a process under which people with legal status under President Obama's executive actions on immigratino could be enlisted.

    Those people include children who came to or stayed in the United States illegally.

    Thornberry’s amendment was adopted by the committee with a voice vote.

    In place of that amendment, Gosar would put an amendment that says the Defense secretary can only enlist immigrants who are in the country legally as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    That means those who fall under under Obama's executive orders would be excluded.

    In a written statement, Gosar called the existing language “backdoor amnesty.”

    “NDAA should be about providing critical funding for our troops, not debating immigration policy,” Gosar said. “Sadly, open border advocates have once again put politics ahead of the needs of our men and women in uniform in attempting to enact President Obama’s lawless agenda.”

    In his own written statement, Gallego stressed that the language was a compromise offered by a Republican.

    “This shouldn’t be a controversial issue,” he said. “This amendment is about defense and what is in the best interest of our nation and our military. I fought in Iraq, and I know that on the battlefield what matters is the character and commitment of the people you serve with, not their immigration status.”

    A similar debate played out during the House debate on the NDAA last year.

    The House ultimately voted to strip out a provision that would have established a sense of the House that the Pentagon should review allowing those affected by Obama's orders to enlist.

    This year’s bill is expected to come to the House floor next week.
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  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    House GOP avoids debate over immigration in defense bill

    By Cristina Marcos - 05/18/16 02:59 PM EDT

    House Republicans will be spared another floor fight over illegal immigration in this year’s annual defense policy bill in the middle of an election year.

    GOP leaders on Wednesday declined to green-light an amendment submitted by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) to strip language in the bill that affirms the Defense secretary's ability to enlist anyone considered "vital to the national interest."

    Gosar and other immigration hard-liners sought to eliminate the provision and clarify that the Pentagon can only enlist immigrants who are in the country legally.

    In addition, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) did not try to push for a vote this year on his measure to allow certain illegal immigrants to enlist in the military.
    The absence of floor debate on illegal immigration during consideration of the defense bill — in an election year — is a stark contrast to 2015.

    Last year, divisions among Republicans over inching toward permitting young illegal immigrants to serve in the military culminated in a floor vote to avoid jeopardizing the entire underlying defense authorization.

    The House Armed Services Committee had approved a provision during its markup last year that established a sense of the House that the Pentagon should review allowing qualified young illegal immigrants granted work permits under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to enlist.

    But the House ultimately approved an amendment from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, that eliminated the provision.

    This year, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tried to offer an amendment during this year’s committee markup of the defense bill that would have instructed the Pentagon to establish a process for immigrants given legal status under President Obama’s executive actions to enlist.

    The panel ended up adopting the “vital to the national interest” language, offered by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), as a compromise.

    Gosar warned during a statement before the House Rules Committee on Tuesday that the language in this year’s bill could be interpreted as tacitly allowing the Obama administration to continue enlisting DACA recipients in a program that permits highly skilled legal immigrants to serve in the military. The program, called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, is intended to recruit people with highly sought language or medical skills.

    “Congress must pass my amendment or else the Obama Administration will continue to operate its backdoor amnesty program,” Gosar said.

    Meanwhile, Denham’s signature proposal to allow young illegal immigrants to enlist in the military in exchange for a path to legal status was conspicuously missing from this year’s debate.

    Since first arriving to the House in 2013, Denham has sought a vote on his legislation, also known as the ENLIST Act, as an amendment to the defense bill every year until now.

    GOP leaders allowed his amendment to get floor time in 2013, but Denham later withdrew it after concerns were raised about whether the defense bill was the appropriate jurisdiction. His measure was denied floor consideration entirely in 2014 and 2015.

    As recently as October, Denham had indicated he would keep pressing for debate on his bill.

    “I am confident that we have a majority of the majority on the ENLIST Act, and I’m going to push forward,” Denham said, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, he didn’t specify the defense authorization as a legislative vehicle.

    Denham’s office did not respond to an inquiry seeking an explanation for why the measure wasn’t submitted as an amendment this year.

    Denham is a regular top target of Democrats, given that his central California district has a large Hispanic population. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report currently rates his district as “Lean Republican” in this year’s elections.

    Final passage of the defense bill is expected later Wednesday.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    No lying criminal trespassers in OUR military. They already broke our laws, disobey our government, if they get away with this and are allowed in OUR military what will they get a FREE pass on next? Then they are in the Military and will use our laws to their advantage...NO NO NO.

    Go home and fight for your own Country!

  4. #4
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    ‘Speaker’s Committee’ Spikes Gosar Bid to Shut Down Pentagon’s ‘Backdoor Amnesty’ Pro

    'Speaker’s Committee’ Spikes Gosar Bid to Shut Down Pentagon’s ‘Backdoor Amnesty’ Program

    19 May 2016

    Capitol Hill conservatives are confused and ticked off by House leadership’s quick dismissal of an amendment to the Pentagon’s budget that aimed to end President Barack Obama’s exploitation of the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program. He’s been using that program to give illegal aliens and their families safe harbor.

    “It’s time that we stop playing politics with the Defense Authorization and ensure that a provision meant to allow military readiness isn’t hijacked in order to provide backdoor amnesty to DACA aliens,” said Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R.-Ariz.). The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is President Barack Obama’s program, executed without congressional approval, which grants amnesty to aliens who claim they came to America as children.

    Military recruiters routinely allow illegal aliens into the military, who then receive their green cards upon completion of their initial training and proceed to regular service in either the active-duty or reserve components.

    The trick to the Gosar Amendment was that it would have required inductees to have legal status in order to participate in MAVNI—a requirement that while consistent with current law and stated procedures—was so antithetical to how the program is run it was considered the equivalent killing the program.

    Gosar said he has not given up.

    “While we are disappointed by the decision from the Rules Committee to not make the amendment in order, we are actively pursuing other avenues to achieve the same policy objective,” he said. “We are confident that this amendment will ultimately receive a vote on the House floor in the near future.”

    Knocking down the Gosar Amendment goes against promises by Speaker Paul D. Ryan to open up the legislative process when he took the gavel in October.

    Less than a week after becoming the speaker, Ryan bragged that he led the passage of a $300 billion highway bill that he said was his model of the open amendment process.

    “Over these last four days, the House has debated more amendments than in the last four months combined. On this bill, Chairman Shuster worked through more than 100 amendments on the floor,” the speaker said. “I wanted to have a process that is more open, more inclusive, more deliberative, more participatory, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

    Fast forward from Ryan’s first week to the events of before the May 18 House passage of the Pentagon budget.
    Because Gosar is not a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he could not offer an amendment in committee, so he had to wait until the bill came to the House floor. But, under Speaker Ryan, members are not allowed to make motions on the floor. Instead, amendments are submitted to the House Rules Committee, chaired by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), a Ryan ally.

    It is impossible to separate the Rules Committee from the speaker. It is often known as “The Speaker’s Committee,” and its chairman and members on the majority side serve at the pleasure of the speaker. There are other leaders and other committees, but it is through the Rules Committee that the speaker controls the House.

    One member of the House Armed Services Committee told Breitbart News that one reason the Gosar Amendment was spiked was pressure from the White House on the committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX). “The chairman supported removing controversial issues outside the core capability to ensure that the military is funded.”

    Two days before the defense budget passed the House, the White House issued a 17-page veto threat message that catalogs the president’s issues with the House’s blueprint for fiscal year 2017. The MAVNI program was not part of the veto threat, but it was seen as just one more complication.

    Many Republicans on Armed Services, not just the chairman, are looking to get the budget passed without an interruption to ongoing operations and without a further degradation of capabilities, facilities and resources.

    “Sadly, open border advocates have once again put politics ahead of the needs of our men and women in uniform in attempting to enact President Obama’s lawless immigration agenda,” he said. “There is no labor shortage and we are in the midst of eliminating 160,000 uniformed personnel positions over a nine-year stretch. Given this fact, it is wrong for the Obama Administration to prioritize enlisting illegal immigrants over Americans and legal immigrants that want to serve our nation.”

    Gosar, a practicing dentist, filed his amendment that would have eliminated the MAVNI program by formally banning the military recruiters of waving through illegal aliens.

    The MAVNI program was sold to Congress a way to recruit highly skilled foreigners into the military and the vast majority of participants are interpreters. The program is an important tool for military leaders seeking lawyers, doctors or other professionals.

    However, in the real-life working of MAVNI program, recruits are being brought in to serve as plumbers, truck drivers and even without any designation for future training or job specialty at all.

    One member of the House Homeland Security Committee and a co-sponsor of the amendment, Rep. Louis Barletta (R-PA) said two things bother him most about the MAVNI program.

    “We have immigration laws in this country for two reasons: to protect national security and to preserve American jobs. Allowing illegal immigrants to serve in our military violates both of those principles,” he said. “The United States military is the last place the Obama Administration should be trying to inject its immigration politics.”
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