On Tuesday, Heritage Action announced that it would negatively score any legislation, like Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) ENLIST Act, that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrant DREAMers who join the U.S. military.
Breitbart News’s Matthew Boyle first reported on Denham’s bill and the House’s secretive plan, fully embraced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), to get amnesty legislation or perhaps even go to conference with the Senate for even broader measures.
On Monday, 16 former U.S. military leaders wrote Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to emphasize that it would be a “serious mistake” to confer amnesty on illegal immigrants who enlist in the military. They wrote to McKeon in anticipation of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) that would allow that to occur:
We believe it is 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. Until now, such conduct has been deemed disqualifying and we believe it should continue to be so.
The military officers also wrote that it seems clear that the purpose of the amendment will be to use the “must-pass” NDAA “as a vehicle for advancing” broader immigration. They said if the committee’s bill ends up in conference with the Senate on broader immigration issues, it could confer more amnesty on millions of illegal immigrants who do not even have military ties.
Wade Miller, a combat veteran and Heritage Action’s south central regional coordinator, also explained in a post that allowing illegal immigrant DREAMers to get amnesty by enlisting in the military “turns military service into a penance:”
Our volunteer military thrives in large part because American citizens recognize that it is a privilege, not a punishment, to serve in the military. 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. As a Marine, I am committed to protecting and serving my country, and never looked at military service as a punishment. It is appalling and misguided for Washington politicians to attempt to use the military for amnesty.
Republicans who have publicly opposed the ENLIST Act and other similar measures, particularly Rep. Steve King (R-IA), have come under fire from pro-amnesty lobbying interests like Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, which is gearing up to spend millions of dollars in the next three months to try to get sweeping amnesty legislation.