On Memorial Day, the nation honors military personnel who have sacrificed their lives in America’s defense. Memorial Day dates back to 1868, three years after the Civil War ended.
This year, allowing illegal aliens to enlist in the military has been one of the most contentious issues in a Congress dominated by a debate over whether to legalize 12 million illegal immigrants as well as invite millions of overseas workers into an economy saturated with unemployed Americans.
In the House, U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and in the Senate Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) are scheming for ways to allow illegal aliens to serve in the military, get green cards and eventually, citizenship. Denham is retired from the Air Force; Durbin chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees military funding. Denham has been pushing for his ENLIST Act to be included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act while Durbin scandalously said that aliens’ enlistment is “of vital national interest.” Their efforts dishonor the U.S. military, both living and dead, and based on known facts are insupportable.
In February, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced plans to cut the Army to its lowest level since World War II, reducing it from a wartime peak of 570,000 to as low as 440,000. Other cuts under consideration might create military layoffs which could force personnel into a stagnant job market where veterans’ unemployment rate over the last three years has averaged more than 10 percent.
Jacey Eckhart, director of spouse and family programs for Military.com, said the overarching worry among military families is that, “their soldier is going to be out of a job.”
If illegal immigrants are allowed to enlist, it would present an insurmountable problem. Federal law would obligate them to take the following oath: “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Non-citizens cannot swear to “defend the Constitution” or “bear true faith and allegiance” to a nation whose laws they are not under the jurisdiction of.
On Wednesday, the House Rules Committee blocked Denham’s proposed amendment, calling it “out of order.” But as always in the fight against illegal immigration, the ENLIST battle is far from over. The Capitol Hill rumor mill predicts that Denham, with the blessing of GOP leadership, will try to introduce ENLIST as a standalone bill in early June.
Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here and, on behalf of American military, tell Congress that you oppose not only the ENLIST Act but also amnesty in any other form.