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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Pentagon Plan to Enlist Young Immigrants Is Delayed at White House’s Request

    By JULIA PRESTONMAY 31, 2014
    New York Times

    So-called Dreamers rallied for the right to enlist in Washington last week. Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    A Pentagon plan to allow a small number of young immigrants who grew up in the United States without legal status to enlist in the military has been delayed by the White House, senior officials there said Saturday, to avoid any conflict with House Republicans considering whether to move on immigration legislation.

    The Pentagon proposal would create a first but very limited pathway to citizenship for those who call themselves Dreamers.

    In a letter to a number of senators that was drafted Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he had “taken initial action to allow for the enlistment” of the young immigrants.

    But the White House asked Mr. Hagel to hold off taking any further steps on the new policy until August, after Congress’s summer session, the administration officials said.

    President Obama said last week that he would not take any executive action on immigration during the next two months, to give Republican leaders in the House a chance to move forward on legislation that could grant legal status to illegal immigrants.

    Mr. Hagel also received swift and critical responses from several senators, including Richard Durbin of Illinois, the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate and a leading proponent of legislation to give citizenship to undocumented youths, which is known as the Dream Act. Mr. Durbin urged Mr. Hagel to allow enlistment of a much broader group of those youths.

    To be eligible under the new Pentagon policy, young immigrants would have to have deportation deferrals under a program Mr. Obama started in 2012, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Mr. Hagel said those youths would be allowed to apply to enlist under a separate Defense Department program for certain temporary immigrants who have special medical or language skills.

    Legal experts and immigrant leaders said the new Pentagon policy would provide at best only a very narrow path to citizenship, with perhaps no more than a handful of youths qualifying. More than 550,000 young immigrants have received deportation deferrals.

    But White House officials said the president did not want any action from the executive branch that might rile Republicans during the period when they might hold votes on immigration measures. Republican leaders have accused Mr. Obama of overreaching his constitutional authority with some executive measures, including the deferred action initiative. Mr. Obama also asked Jeh C. Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, to postpone action on a deportations review he has conducted.

    “These are both modest steps, neither of which we are taking at this time,” said Cecilia Muńoz, the White House domestic policy adviser. “We will reassess once we see what Congress does or doesn’t do.”

    She added: “The president is convinced there is a legislative opportunity, and that gives us the best chance to fix what is broken in our immigration system. He wants to leave no stone unturned to let the House do what it should do.”

    The youths would apply under an existing Defense Department program called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, known by its acronym, Mavni, which currently allows immigrants with certain temporary visas to enlist if they are doctors or have other advanced medical skills, or if they speak strategic languages including Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, and a number of African languages. The new policy would add youths with deportation deferrals to the list of those who could join the military under that program.

    The Pentagon program offers an expedited path to naturalization for immigrant recruits, who can become citizens in as few as three months. Generally immigrants who are not legal permanent residents with green cards cannot enlist. Youths with deportation deferrals do not have any resident status.

    But the current program has an annual quota of 1,500 places, and already is struggling with backlogs. In addition, very few immigrant youths would have the medical skills or speak the languages required for the program.

    Margaret Stock, an immigration lawyer in Alaska who helped to create the immigrant enlistment program when she was an officer in the Army Reserve, said it was unclear that any of the youths would qualify for enlistment under the current terms of the Pentagon program. A more important obstacle, she said, was that they have to pass a stringent background check. Having been in the United States for any period of time without immigration papers has been a disqualifying factor for that investigation.

    Cesar Vargas, a leader of the Dream Action Coalition, a youth group, who has been pressing the Pentagon to allow young immigrants to enlist, said he was heartened that Mr. Hagel had taken action, but was disappointed by the limited scope of the plan. “This policy does not fully tap into the great potential of Dreamers who want to serve this country in uniform,” he said.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    The NSA couldn't spot a terrorist if one was sitting in the Oval Office.

    US Army To Fire 30,000 Troops - Obama To Allow Undocumented Immigrants Into Military - Truth And...

    The Army will remove nearly 30,000 soldiers from their active rolls over the
    next 17 months

    US Army To Fire 30,000 Troops – Obama To Allow Undocumented Immigrants Into Military

    The Army will remove nearly 30,000 soldiers from their active rolls over the next 17 months in first wave to draw down forces from the current 519,786 active troopers to 450,000, or even 420,000 soldiers.
    At the same time, the Obama administration will be allowing a ‘limited number’ of undocumented young people, known as Dreamers, into the military via The Enlist Act.
    The White House has temporarily delayed the program in order to work out some immigration issues with Republicans.
    There are 550,000 undocumented young people in the US under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
    So, in the event of martial law or civil war, do you think that Obama would take off all restrictions and allow an unlimited number of these undocumented young people into the military?
    WASHINGTON — Pentagon officials have approved a policy that would allow a limited group of undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to enlist in the military, opening up a path for them to eventually become citizens, The Huffington Post has learned.
    The move, which has not been formally announced by the Obama administration, would affect some of the roughly 550,000 undocumented young people granted the ability to remain in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many of whom have pled with the government to allow them to enlist.
    Immigrants in the country legally can enlist in the military, and through their service, they can receive expedited naturalization as U.S. citizens. More than 89,000 service members have gained citizenship since September 2002, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. But young undocumented immigrants, often referred to as Dreamers, cannot currently enlist, even if they have been granted work authorization and the ability to remain in the country under DACA.
    The new change, under a Pentagon recruitment plan called Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, would allow some undocumented immigrants with critical language or medical skills to enlist in the armed forces — considerably limiting the number of Dreamers who would be eligible. Roughly 3,000 legal immigrants have enlisted through the MAVNI program since 2009, and now the program will be open to those who are in the country illegally.

    Members of Congress have increasingly called for Dreamers to receive permission to enlist in the military. Those young people can apply for DACA to receive work authorization and the ability to stay in the country for two years, with the possibility to renew. Dreamers have to meet a number of qualifications for the program, including having come to the U.S. before the age of 16; having been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; and having attended or graduated from high school or received a GED. They do not qualify if they have been convicted of a felony, “significant misdemeanor,” three or more misdemeanors or are deemed a threat to security.
    A measure called the Enlist Act, put forward by Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), was recently blocked from receiving a vote as part of a defense spending bill in the House. The legislation would allow Dreamers to enlist in the military and eventually apply for citizenship. Although they didn’t allow a vote on the Enlist Act as an amendment, House GOP leaders said they were open to allowing a vote on the standalone bill in the future.
    The Pentagon’s decision, though limited in scope, is likely to face criticism from some Republicans, who say undocumented immigrants should be ineligible for military service because they are in the U.S. without authorization and argue that they take jobs from would-be American service members. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) criticized the Enlist Act in April as a magnet for unauthorized immigration and dangerous for national security.

    Last edited by AirborneSapper7; 06-08-2014 at 09:48 AM.
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