On Thursday, House Democrats called Republicans “xenophobic” for opposing an amendment that would allow illegal aliens to serve in America’s armed forces.
Democrats have started another push to allow illegals to serve in the military, after which they would receive citizenship. But some Republicans feel that offering spots in the military to illegals will directly prevent actual American citizens from serving.
Democrats disagree with that point and claim that Republicans just don’t like Hispanics.
“I would hate to see the time and the talent and the desire of these young people to serve their country squashed by people who will attack them at every turn for no reason simply than they are ‘other,’ ” Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) said.
Arizona Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Iraq War veteran, attached the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Gallego’s amendment has the support of members of the House Armed Services Committee.
But Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks warns that this policy could limit opportunities for actual citizens.
“As America’s military downsizes, there are a limited number of enlistment opportunities for American citizens,” Brooks said. “Each time an illegal alien takes an enlistment opportunity, an America or lawful immigrant loses an enlistment opportunity. The ratio is one-to-one. Period. That is math.”
Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King was also opposed to the amendment. Calling it an “amnesty amendment,” King was opposed to the idea because he felt it was a backdoor way to legitimize Obama’s amnesty policies.
“This policy would provide a fast track to citizenship for those accepted into a program Congress has voted to defund three times… It is the wrong policy on the wrong bill at the worst time,” King said.
But liberals in the House attacked Republicans as mere xenophobes.
“This is yet another example of anti-immigrant attitude on the part of the House Republicans,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “This xenophobic, anti-newcomer attitude is something that is un-American.”
This isn’t the first time this amendment has been offered in the House. Bills like it have been introduced every year for some time.
Trying to take the issue to the coming presidential election, Hillary Clinton has already spoken out in support of the policy idea.
“If these courageous young men and women want to serve, they should be honored and celebrated, not discriminated against,” Clinton said.
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