More than two dozen Republicans are calling on the House Rules Committee to eliminate an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would call on the Secretary of Defense to make illegal immigrants granted executive amnesty eligible to serve in the U.S. military.
In a letter dispatched Tuesday evening and obtained by Breitbart News, the 25 lawmakers, led by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), argue that the inclusion of this amendment — offered by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) during the Armed Services Committee’s mark up of the bill — could imperil passage of the NDAA.
“If the Rules Committee does not strike Rep. Gallego’s controversial [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] provision (§538), we will offer an amendment to strike the language. This controversial immigration language greatly increases the risk of the NDAA’s failure to pass the House. The Rules Committee has the power, and indeed the duty, to prevent such a threat to our national security,” they write in the letter to Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX).
The lawmakers argue that the House has voted three times to defund DACA and that Gallego’s amendment “contradicts the House’s previous position.”
“Especially in this time of increased terrorism, our national security should not be threatened by allowing such controversial language on a program we have rejected three times as unconstitutional,” they write.
Gallego’s amendment was attached to the NDAA on a vote of 33-30. The NDAA passed out of committee last week.
The two dozen Republicans, in their missive, describe the Gallego language as “an amendment that encourages the Secretary of Defense to declare that illegal aliens granted deferred action and work permits under the unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program are ‘vital’ to America’s national interest.”
“This would have the effect of making them eligible to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces even though they are in the country unlawfully and our military is in the process of downsizing troop levels,” they write.
Meanwhile, over on the Senate side, Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) said Tuesday that his draft of the NDAA would not include any immigration measures.
“We’re not doing anything on immigration on the NDAA,” McCain told The Hill.