Allowing Undocumented To Join Military Gets Bipartisan Support

"If somebody is willing to lay their life down for their country, I think they deserve citizenship," Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) said.

immigrationBy Marissa Higdon

A collection of lawmakers’ from both sides of the aisle spoke out in favor Wednesday of a stand-alone bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to enlist in the military.

The legislation, called the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act of 2013, is sponsored by Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colo.). “Whatever we can do to broaden our pool of recruits should be done.”

“If somebody is willing to lay their life down for their country, I think they deserve citizenship,” Coffman said during a press conference alongside Representatives Kyrsten Siema (D-Ariz.), David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Louis Gutierrez (D-Ill.).

Gutierrez stressed the bipartisan nature of the bill, and said it has been in the works for a long time. He praised the efforts of lawmakers and activists alike and said he will keep fighting until this bill and comprehensive immigration reform are passed.

“I just want to say to all of the DREAMers, we’re here for you, we fought really hard to get deferred action, and you fought really hard to get deferred action, but I want you to remember how you got it,” Gutierrez said. “You spoke up and you marched and you made a commitment and you forced us, because in Washington DC nothing happens…without a consistent and persistent demand from outside of Washington DC. That’s how women got the right to vote. That’s how black people got the right to sit wherever they want on the bus, and that’s how immigrants are going to get their fair share of the American dream and democracy.”

The press conference followed a small demonstration in front of the Capitol held by the DREAM Action Coalition in favor of enlistment for undocumented immigrants.

The DREAM Act, which has failed to pass Congress, grants citizenship to certain young undocumented immigrants who either join the military or attend College.


About TRNS Washington Desk

View all posts by TRNS Washington Desk
TRNS Washington Desk
News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

LISTEN: The Weekend Ahead – April 25-27, 2015

The Day Ahead Logo

White House correspondents enjoy their yearly gala on Saturday, the world’s least happy nation votes for its president and a major EU-Ukraine summit begins Monday.

Holder Bids Farewell

“This is something that has meant the world to me, it has helped define me as an individual and as a lawyer, as a man,” Holder said in his farewell speech.

LISTEN: The World in 2:00 – April 24, 2015

The World in 2:00 continents logo

The White House explains its drone policy after the death of two hostages in Pakistan and the latest World Happiness Report reveals the stark impact of the Great Recession.

Statue Of Liberty Evacuated

Statue of Liberty

The monument was evacuated after a reported suspicious package was discovered on the grounds.

Mitt Romney On Clinton Foundation Donations: ‘It looks like bribery’

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is facing criticism over money donated to her family’s foundation while serving as Secretary of State in trade for approved uranium sales

A Century Later, White House Will Not Call Armenian Murders “Genocide”

A 1947 photo of the original United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  UN Photo.

“I know there are some who are hoping to hear different language this year and we understand their perspective,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said.