The House voted to strip language from the National Defense Authorization Act that would have called on the Pentagon to consider allowing illegal immigrants granted executive amnesty — via Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)— to serve in the U.S. military.
The Thursday evening vote — in the form of an amendment to the NDAA — was 221 – 202.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) introduced the amendment in response to the insertion of the language by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) during the NDAA’s committee mark up.
Brooks and a group of House conservatives charged that the NDAA was an inappropriate vehicle for Gallego’s amendment and that the measure threatened the bill’s ultimate passage.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter to House members Thursday, Brooks stressed that the language put the interests of illegal immigrants above American citizens and validated President Obama’s executive amnesty.
“I submit we are in Congress to represent and promote the interests of Americans,” Brooks wrote. “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.”
Democrats slammed the effort to remove the deferred action language as “anti-immigrant”.
“This is yet another example of anti-immigrant attitude on the part of the House Republicans,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) said Thursday before the vote.
“We have even seen them try to reverse the constitutional birthright of a person born in America being a citizen – this xenophobic, anti-newcomer attitude is something that is un-American. And now of course we have this attempt today to reverse the success Mr. Gallego had in committee,” Pelosi added