FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Obama poised to allow illegal aliens to enlist in the Armed Forces
Last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced he would not allow the ENLIST Act of California Republican Jeff Denham to be voted on. This was the culmination of an intense campaign by Heritage Action and the Madison Project to stop this ill considered bill. Mr. Denham is, apparently, one of those Chamber of Commerce Republicans who are committed to “doing something” on immigration no matter how dumb “something” might be.
In short, the ENLIST Act waives current law restricting voluntary enlistments in the Armed Forces to United States citizens and resident aliens and allows illegal aliens to enlist and offers them an accelerated route to citizenship if they do so.
This is a really bad idea from a lot of perspectives. Not the least of which is that every illegal alien who enlists with a waiver prevents an otherwise fully qualified man or woman from entering the Armed Forces. There are more potential recruits than there are spaces:
Gone are the post-9/11 recruiting days where the US military would take just about anyone who walked through its doors, issuing waivers for misconduct and health issues. Now 80 percent of applicants are turned away.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in February of this year that the Obama administration would work to shrink the US Army to its smallest size since before World War II. Citing the federal government’s budgetary concerns and the winding down of the wars in the Middle East, Hagel deemed it necessary to reduce the military personnel and lingering, expensive equipment costs.
He said in a speech that cutting the current level of 522,000 soldiers to 490,000 soldiers by autumn of 2015 was necessary “to protect critical capabilities like Special Operations Forces and cyber resources.”
And cutting the size of the military means recruiting fewer people. The Army’s recruiting goal dropped from 69,000 new enlistments for the 2013 fiscal year to 57,000 for 2014, the US Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) reported. The Navy’s goal dropped from 40,112 in 2013 to 33,800 in 2014, according to its recruiting command.
Fewer spaces means tough choices for recruiters. “We’re turning down twice as many as before,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Terrence Hoard, who supervises the Army recruiting station in Grandview, Mo., told theKansas City Star. Potential recruits who might have been granted waivers before are now rejected.
“It’s not that we have a zero defect mentality, because we don’t,” Nathan Christensen, a Navy officer in public affairs for the Defense Department, told the Star. “But it is true that the quality of military recruits right now is the highest it’s been in 40 years.”
This is not a case of illegals doing jobs Americans don’ t want to do, this is a case of illegals taking jobs Americans want.
Now it seems that Obama is planning yet another end run around the Constitution.
President Barack Obama’s administration may allow military enlistment by thousands of immigrants living in the country illegally, a top U.S. Department of Defense official said Monday.
Jessica L. Wright, the department’s acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, described the immigrants, known as DREAMers, as “some of the best and brightest in America that we could capitalize on.”
Wright said the decision would come by summer’s end and involved the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the White House.
Her comments came at a Chicago hearing held by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, who wants the Obama administration to open the military to immigrants eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and provide them a path to citizenship. DACA, a program set up by the administration in 2012, has provided work papers and deportation reprieves to hundreds of thousands of youths.
Federal law limits military enlistment to U.S. nationals and legal permanent residents but allows exceptions if “vital to the national interest.” In 2008, President George W. Bush’s administration made exceptions for immigrant enlistees with certain language and health-care skills.
One can’t even imagine how enlisting illegals in the name of being “vital to the national interest” could be justified other than by Obama assuming the role of our own Sun King and declaring “l’etat, c’est moi.”