On Monday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who chairs the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the military, called on President Barack Obama’s Department of Defense to start enlisting DREAMers if Congress does not pass amnesty legislation.
“If the House Republicans refuse to move immigration reform, the Defense Department should use its authority under current law to authorize the enlistment of Dreamers,” Durbin said during a Defense Subcommittee hearing in Chicago on “Immigrant Enlistment.” “Enlisting Dreamers is ‘vital to the national interest’ because it would make the Armed Forces more diverse and inclusive, and it would allow the Armed Forces to access a well-qualified, educated, homegrown talent pool.”
At a hearing he chaired at the Phoenix Military Academy in the Chicago Public Schools, Durbin noted that this “determination is entirely in the discretion of the Defense Department” if it deems the enlistment of DREAMers a “vital national interest.”
Durbin, who co-wrote the Senate’s amnesty bill, has reportedly been speaking with Sen. Carl Levin (R-MI), the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, about including a provision in the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to give amnesty to DREAMers who enlist in the military.
Breitbart News’s Matthew Boyle first reported on Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) ENLIST Act in the House, which had been embraced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) before Cantor reversed course on allowing such an amendment to the House’s version of the NDAA.
As Breitbart News reported, 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 the ENLIST Act or any of its variants could be a way for Congress to grant more forms of amnesty to other illegal immigrants who are not in the military.