Washington lawmakers are pushing for a House vote on legislation (H.R. 435 and H.R.2377) that would grant amnesty to those living in the United States illegally in exchange for military service. Having served in the United States Marine Corps, I can attest that this is a misguided approach. Amnesty is wrong and undermines the rule of law by encouraging future unlawful immigration. This proposal would add insult to injury.
Allowing DREAMers-unlawful immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors-to acquire lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in exchange for military service turns military service into a penance. Our volunteer military thrives in large part because American citizens recognize that it is a privilege, not a punishment, to serve in the military. The United States spends a significant amount of money to impart essential and enduring skills on military servicemen and women. It is both an honor and a benefit to be a part of the military -- it certainly should not be treated as a punishment.
As a Marine, I am committed to protecting and serving my country, and never looked at military service as a punishment. It is appalling and misguided for Washington politicians to attempt to use the military for amnesty.
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