There are thousands of patriotic youth who graduate from high school each year with dreams of serving the only country they know, but are ineligible to enlist in the U.S. armed forces because they lack legal immigration status. The DREAM Act is a bipartisan bill that would enable these talented young people to enlist in the U.S. military or attend college on their way to becoming full U.S. citizens.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he plans to schedule a vote on the DREAM Act during the “lame duck” session of Congress, and press reports indicate that the House will also take up the legislation. On a conference call with reporters, this Tuesday, November 23rd, U.S. military veterans argued passionately that the DREAM Act would strengthen the U.S. military and that Congress should pass it immediately.
Albert Gonzales, National Commander of the American GI Forum, spoke on behalf of his organization, representing thousands of Hispanic Veterans:
“Any undocumented resident willing to fight for our collective freedoms should have the opportunity to enlist in the military, with a process for obtaining citizenship. The American GI Forum supports the DREAM Act as this process.”
Brett Hunt, a member of VoteVets.org and an Iraq war veteran stated:
“It’s wrong to deny an able, qualified, and committed person who grew up in America the chance to serve America. And, it’s wrong to rob our military of potentially exemplary troops and future leaders…The DREAM Act would, rightfully, give young high school graduates who wish to serve, the ability to do so and a path to citizenship in return for their service. This bipartisan legislation would strengthen the ranks of our armed forces and must be passed. This is not the conservative thing to do, it is not the liberal thing to do — It simply is the right thing to do. VoteVets.org fully supports this legislation, on behalf of our veterans and military families, and calls on the Senate to pass it.”
The conference call also featured students who dream of enlisting in our nation’s armed services, but remain ineligible to serve the only country they call home until the DREAM Act becomes law. David Cho (pictured above), an honors student from UCLA who would benefit from the DREAM Act, hopes to join the U.S. Air Force.