Sunday 24 October 2021, 04:36 AM
House votes against undocumented migrants' serving in US military
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/16/2015 12:00:00 AM
House votes against undocumented migrants' serving in US military

Washington : The US House of Representatives passed an amendment to eliminate a provision from the National Defence Authorisation Act that would have allowed the military to consider the enlistment of undocumented young people, dubbed "Dreamers" by their supporters.

By a vote of 221-202, the Republican Party-controlled House passed the amendment introduced by Representative Mo Brooks.

The eliminated measure, promoted by Arizona Democrat Ruben Gallego, would have urged the defense department to consider whether undocumented young people with work permits might enlist in the armed forces.

Gallego's provision, previously passed by a bipartisan vote in the House Armed Services Committee, would have had a limited impact, but sparked a negative reaction among Republican hard-liners on immigration matters, such as Iowa Representative Steve King.

Twenty Republicans joined all House Democrats in opposing Brooks' measure.

"This Congress should support and represent Americans by voting to stop military service opportunities from being taken from struggling American families in order to give them to illegal aliens," Brooks said before Thursday's vote.

"There was no reason to have this fight; this amendment should not have been controversial. But Brooks and his band of extreme, anti-immigrant Republicans put their extreme politics ahead of the best interest of our military and our country," Gallego said in a statement following passage of the amendment.

"It is disappointing that Republicans continue to wage war on our immigrant communities instead of recognising the many contributions they have made and can continue to make to our country," said the Arizona lawmaker and Iraq war veteran.

Under the current law, undocumented young people are not completely excluded from serving in the armed forces, since some of those benefited by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012, can join the military in certain programmes that require specialisation or a command of other languages.

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House votes against undocumented migrants' serving in US military

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