Illegal immigrants should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says.
“If these courageous young men and women want to serve, they should be honored and celebrated, not discriminated against,” the Clinton campaign’s national political director Amanda Renteria said in the statement Thursday.
Clinton’s team issued the statement in advance of a House vote to strip language from the National Defense Authorization Act encouraging the Pentagon to consider allowing illegal immigrants granted executive amnesty — via Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — to enlist in the Armed Forces. The language had been inserted into the NDAA by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ).
Renteria added that while Clinton would like to see comprehensive immigration reform, military service for illegal immigrants granted DACA would be some progress.
“Hillary Clinton is committed to comprehensive immigration reform to strengthen families and our country. While we keep up the pressure for comprehensive action, allowing DREAMers to serve in the military is the right step forward,” she added.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) led the effort to have it stricken from the bill.
“I submit we are in Congress to represent and promote the interests of Americans,” Brooks wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter earlier Thursday. “In contrast, Rep. Gallego’s amendment does not, in any way, shape or form, represent or promote the interests of Americans. To the contrary, Gallego’s amendment betrays Americans by encouraging the Secretary of Defense to hire illegal aliens rather than Americans.”