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Foster Calls On House Republicans To Support DREAMers In The Military

May 14, 2015
Press Release

dreamers in the military press conference

Washington, D.C. – Today Representative Bill Foster joined Members of Congress and DREAMers in calling on House Republicans to keep amendments in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that encourage the Secretary of Defense to consider allowing DREAMers to serve in the military.

The “Enable DREAMers to Serve in Uniform” amendment, introduced by Rep. Ruben Gallego, would encourage the Secretary of Defense to review the possibility of allowing DACA recipients to serve in the military. While the amendment passed in the House Armed Services Committee with a bipartisan majority, a group of anti-immigration Republicans are attempting to strike the amendment before the House votes on NDAA later this week.

Foster discussed the issue at a press conference in the capitol this morning with Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Cesar Vargas, a DREAMer who wants to serve in the military and is Co-Director of DREAM Action.

Earlier this year, Foster introduced a House Resolution calling on the Department of Defense to allow DREAMers to serve in the military. A copy of the resolution can be found here. 

“There are many smart, capable young men and women who want nothing more than to serve the only country they have ever known,” said Foster. “Allowing DREAMers to serve in our military is just one small fix we can make to our broken immigration system, but it’s a fix that will give hope and opportunity to thousands of DREAMers while strengthening our military. If Republicans block this amendment, they will be adding to the long list of actions that have left our immigration system in shambles and left millions of families in a state of limbo.”

Background: In 2012, the President introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to allow certain undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children, so-called DREAMers, to be provided temporary relief from deportation and be given the ability to work here legally. In addition, in November 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of the DACA program to include additional undocumented immigrants. DACA beneficiaries have already undergone background checks and finished high school or received a GED equivalent. Unfortunately, the DACA program does not currently allow these youth to join the U.S. Armed Forces. However, such a change could be made through executive action.