On Monday, on the eve of the House Armed Services Committee’s consideration of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Wednesday, sixteen influential former leaders of the U.S. military wrote the panel’s chairman, Rep. Howard ‘Buck’ McKeon to express their opposition to an amendment expected to be offered by Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado.
The letter and statements was sent to various media outlets, including the Paulding County Republican Examiner from the Center for Security Policy, that this amendment would open service in the armed forces to illegal aliens brought here as minors by their parents, the so-called “Dreamers”.
The concerns came from several general officers, drawn from each of the four armed services and wrote, in part by saying, “We believe it a serious mistake to open 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. It could enable adoption by the Congress of measures that would confer amnesty on millions of aliens illegally in this country and, by failing to secure the borders, ensure that millions more will be headed here in due course.”
The military leaders also expressed concern about what has been described as a “Trojan Horse” ploy – using the Coffman amendment to the must-pass NDAA as a just a starting point for including a more sweeping amnesty and other changes to U.S. immigration and border security laws.
The military leaders contend that members of the House leadership and lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee seem determined to enact such legislation in the face of opposition from a “majority of the majority” in the House of Representatives and many millions of voters.
Such an action is even more unthinkable given that the opening of the door to military service by illegal aliens would come at a moment when tens of thousands of American citizens who have served their country in uniform with distinction are being forced to separate involuntarily from the armed forces.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., the president of the Center for Security Policy, which facilitated the officers’ joint letter, said, “It will be hard to portray what is afoot as other than insinuating illegal aliens into the military to do jobs U.S. citizens are not only willing to do; they are willing to die to do. The impact on morale within the ranks, to say nothing of possible problems with the loyalties of such aliens, cannot be underestimated.”
Since the amendment was proposed, President Obama has been pressuring the American Legion to support the amendment in which the American Legion continues to say no to such a sneaky way of granting amnesty with this amendment.
The amendment, the ENLIST Act (H.R. 2377), is a military-based DREAM Act, to the NDAA. H.R. 2377 requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue green cards just for enlisting in the military with the only conditions being that the illegal aliens entered the U.S. before 2012; and second, that they were younger than 15 when they entered the country.
The American Legion said, “The NDAA needs to stand alone, and I think attaching an issue as contentious and complex as immigration and recruitment policy would only stall the NDAA,” John Stovall, director of the Legion’s national security division told The Washington Times.
“The legion’s long-standing policy remains that we are opposed to any policy, any legislative action that amounts to amnesty, and I think that would fall under that definition.”