Illegal Aliens could boost U.S. military ranks

geochem1st

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Immigration advocates have long pushed for the DREAM Act as a way to give children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents a chance to become legal residents and have access to higher education.
The less publicized part of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act is that the Pentagon is pushing for it as a means to staff the armed forces.

Prospects dimmed Tuesday when Senate Republicans prevented a vote on a defense spending bill, because the DREAM Act was attached as an amendment. Senate Democrats vowed to reintroduce it.

When the Department of Defense published its three-year strategic plan, it listed the DREAM Act as a way it could replenish its ranks.

"If we needed to expand the pool of eligible youth, the DREAM initiative would be one of several ways to do it," spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said in an e-mail.

Retired Army lieutenant colonel Margaret Stock says a "crisis in military manpower" is looming as the population ages and the economy improves. She says the military struggled to recruit enough people when the economy was booming just a few years ago because people had more employment options.

"DREAM would give us the ability to tap into a huge number of people who grew up in the United States, were educated here, they talk like Americans, they look like Americans and their loyalty lies with America," says Stock, a former West Point professor who teaches political science at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

The act would allow illegal immigrants who met several requirements — 35 or younger, came to the U.S. before turning 16, have lived here at least five years, no criminal record and have earned a high school diploma — to become conditional residents for up to six years. They would be eligible to become permanent residents if they completed two years of college or two years in the military.

The Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan research group that supports an overhaul of immigration law, estimates that more than 725,000 people would be eligible immediately for conditional residency.

Another 1.4 million meet all the requirements except the high school diploma.

The military part of the act worries Jorge Mariscal, director of Latino studies at the University of California-San Diego.

He says many illegal immigrant families are too poor to pay for college.

"Our concern is that people are just going to get trapped for economic reasons into the military," says Mariscal, who otherwise supports the DREAM Act.

Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which advocates lower levels of legal and illegal immigration, opposes the DREAM Act because it does nothing to address the larger problems of illegal immigration.

Felipe Matos would be glad to join the military under the DREAM Act.

Born to a single mother in the slums of Brazil, he came to live with relatives in the U.S. at 14. He graduated from high school, got an associate's degree at Miami Dade College and hopes to get a four-year degree and become a high school teacher. He says he wants to repay the country that gave him the opportunity to succeed.

"I have friends who would have loved to join the military," says Matos, 24. "I feel that all of us are just trying to serve and contribute to the only country we know and love."

Alien Minors Act could boost U.S. military ranks - USATODAY.com
 

Blues4U

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When my children get to go to school for free--I'll be all for alien children doing the same--

As for Aliens in the military---I am all for allowing any resident of this country that has the desire to defend it, to be allowed to do so and in turn, receive a fast track to legal resident status as well as full fledged citizenship---

When my grandfather served in WWII, he was not yet a naturalized citizen, as were many of his legal immigrant counterparts--

My immigrant grandfather was proud of his heritage, but he always considered himself an American. He flew the American flag, not that of his native land. I would be willing to bet his service to the country help strengthen this bond-
 

snaredrum

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if the aliens brought their own death rays and flying saucers it would be unfair...
 

diceman

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When my children get to go to school for free--I'll be all for alien children doing the same--

As for Aliens in the military---I am all for allowing any resident of this country that has the desire to defend it, to be allowed to do so and in turn, receive a fast track to legal resident status as well as full fledged citizenship---

...

Precisely.

And, I served with non-citizens in the Army who chose the military as both a good paying job as well as a path to citizenship.
 

PraXis

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I guess they're short almost a million for the upcoming war with Iran.
 

diceman

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I guess they're short almost a million for the upcoming war with Iran.

This is starting to remind me of a certain animated movie based on a successful television show from about 12 years ago.
 

Blues4U

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This is starting to remind me of a certain animated movie based on a successful television show from about 12 years ago.

Stop speaking in code--I am 46 and don't think quite as quick as I use to--:hmm:
 

Blackie

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We need to actually do something to incorporate these folks into the system, just
screaming about the evil illeagals is getting old. We are deporting more people than ever
but that is not the whole answer and is not feasible. We have to give these people a path to being tax paying members of our socity in accordance with the law.
 

PraXis

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Make it illegal to hire them and they'll deport themselves. Let South America and Europe take care of their own rejects.
 

DRF

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Be careful who you arm and train,canada is trying to do this with a segment of the population that is not really happy with the status quo to begin with. I dunno maybe its a great idea?.
 

geochem1st

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... Let South America and Europe take care of their own rejects.

We started out as Europe's rejects, and continued to gather them throughout history. Its what we do, have done, and what has made us stronger.

The Spanish conquered lands covered 3/4 of the continental US. They too were incorporated, and made us wealthy with the resources those lands contained.

The difference today is the drug trade and the huge profits from them, and the associated gangs that run it. When Americans kick their drug habits the way we view illegal aliens will change.
 

PraXis

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True, they could do a lot of good by just legalizing MJ. Isn't California voting to legalize it on the Nov ballot?
 

Lyrica

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if you let too many foreign nationals into your armed services it's a good way to lose control of them. especially when so many of the "immigrants" are beholden to the cartels and such. i'd kick them all out and make it illegal with jail time for hiring them. they get hired cause it's cheaper to hire them than americans. if you make it too expensive, either in terms of fines, or in terms of jail time, they won't be hired.
 

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