The Defense Department announced on Monday that it is considering an expansion of the application pool in order to allow a number of undocumented young illegal immigrants to join the military. This may be another way for the Obama administration to find unilateral ways to tackle the issue of immigration reform.
Advocates for immigrant rights are urging the Pentagon to declare that ‘dreamers’ are crucial to the national interest of the United States, which would enable them to join the military via a special program that gives non-immigrants a speedy path to citizenship in exchange for serving in the military for a number of years. The acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, Jessica Wright, says that the Pentagon is currently conducting a review, which it aims to complete by the close of the summer. The proposal is being discussed with the Homeland Security and Justice departments.
“It’s very important to us that we are in concert to things that the White House thinks are very important, and we do too,” Wright noted at a hearing held in Chicago. “So we’re looking to move forward on what ‘vital to the national interest’ means.”
With movement on a comprehensive immigration reform bill being at a standstill on Capitol Hill, Democrats in Congress and immigrant rights activists are calling on President Obama to take unilateral steps to deport less immigrants. Monday’s hearing shows that the Pentagon is a part of this effort, along with the Department of Homeland Security.