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Earlier today, former and retired Military personnel joined DREAM eligible students on a call, urging Senators to pass the National Defense Authorization Act with the DREAM Act Amendment – a plan Harry Reid (D-NV) announced earlier this week.
Top Republicans are already calling the inclusion of the DREAM Act “extraneous,” even though military leaders have expressed their strong support for the DREAM Act. In fact, the FY2010-12 Strategic Plan, for the Department of Defense’s Office of the Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness also recommends passage of the DREAM Act, in order to help the military “shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.” This is how Louis Caldera, former Director of the White House Military Office and United States Secretary of the Army, sees it:
“The DREAM Act will materially expand the pool of individuals qualified, ready and willing to serve their country in uniform…Of the 50,000 youth coming of age every year in the terrible predicament of being ineligible to work, enlist, or receive federal financial aid to attend college, many of those are not yet ready to pursue full time education. Military service is a highly appealing way to better themselves, give back to their country and earn their residency and eventually citizenship. I have no doubt many of these enlistees will be among the best soldiers in our Army.”