Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), a Senate Gang of Eight member who co-wrote the chamber’s amnesty bill last year, will hold a hearing next Monday to pressure lawmakers to include a provision to give illegal immigrant DREAMers amnesty if they enroll in the military.
According to Politico, witnesses, including Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), will testify about how giving amnesty to illegal immigrant DREAMers who enroll in the military will be “critical to military readiness and to creating a more diverse and inclusive Armed Forces.” Durbin’s hearing will be held on May 19 at the Phoenix Military Academy, which is in the Chicago Public Schools system. Nearly 10% of the participants in Chicago’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps are reportedly DREAMers.
Durbin chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and he has reportedly been speaking with Sen. Carl Levin (R-MI), the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, about including an amnesty provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House’s version of the bill that got out of its committee did not include such a provision after pressure from conservatives.
Breitbart News’s Matthew Boyle first reported on Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) ENLIST Act and the House’s secretive plan, fully embraced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), to grant amnesty to illegal immigrant DREAMers who enlist in the military.
Sixteen former U.S. military leaders wrote Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, saying it would be a “serious mistake to open up military service to those known to have violated the laws of the United States.”
“Whether they have done so by coming to this country illegally and living here in violation of immigration statutes, either at their own initiative or as a result of the actions of family members, they have acted in a manner inconsistent with the oath to support and defend the Constitution that they will be required to swear upon enlisting,” they wrote. “Until now, such conduct has been deemed disqualifying and we believe it should continue to be so.”
The officers also warned that if amnesty is included in the must-pass NDAA, it could be a way for more, broader forms of amnesty to be enacted via a conference with the Senate. House leaders ultimately listened as the amnesty provision was not included in the bill that passed McKeon’s Armed Services Committee last week.
Heritage Action has vowed to negatively score any vote on giving amnesty to illegal immigrant DREAMers who enlist in the military. Moreover, Wade Miller, a combat veteran and who is a Heritage Action official, said that giving amnesty to illegal immigrants who enroll in the military simply “turns military service into a penance” was “appalling.”
“Our volunteer military thrives in large part because American citizens recognize that it is a privilege, not a punishment, to serve in the military,” he wrote. “The United States spends a significant amount of money to impart essential and enduring skills on military servicemen and women. It is both an honor and a benefit to be a part of the military – it certainly should not be treated as a punishment.”