This morning, Military DREAMer Cesar Vargas, Rep. Ruben Gallego, and members of Congress held a press conference calling on Republicans to keep two Military DREAMer amendments in the defense bill going to the House floor this week for consideration.
Rep. Gallego recently introduced an amendment that would allow DACA recipients to enroll in the military. It passed the Republican-led House Armed Services with bipartisan support from six Republican votes.
Similarly, Rep. Marc Veasey introduced an amendment asking the Department of Defense “for a report that evaluates how DACA and other deferred action programs would affect military recruiting efforts.” Rep. Veasey’s amendment also passed with bipartisan support.
But in response, a group of 25 House Republicans wrote a letter asking the House Rules Committee to strike Rep. Gallego’s amendment. As Rep. Gallego notes in a statement, Republicans also called for “striking the amendments through an obscure legislative procedure known as a ‘self-executing amendment’ in the House Rules Committee.”
At this morning’s press conference, Rep. Gallego slammed the Republican attacks on Military DREAMers, saying the amendments “shouldn’t be controversial,” and that “allowing DREAMers to serve in the military is in our national security interest.”
“Once again, extreme Tea Party Republicans are doing everything they can to attack immigrants,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
Cesar Vargas, co-director of DRM Action and an aspiring Military DREAMer himself, spoke passionately about his dream to finally be able to join the Military and serve the only country he has ever called home.
“When I was in high school my dream was to run to the mailbox and find a letter saying that I was accepted into West Point,” said Vargas. “Our military needs to reflect the changing face of the country.”
The Rules Committee, which met last night, did not remove Rep. Gallego’s amendment from the defense bill. However, advocates widely expect Rep. Brooks, along with Iowa’s Rep. Steve King, to again call for removal of the language when the bill comes to the House floor for consideration this week.