Earlier this month, our blog discussed how a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee voted to add a measure to a larger defense bill that would allow the nation's young immigrants to serve in the armed forces.
Specifically, the measure, drafted by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), would allow the Department of Defense to consider the enlistment of "dreamers," meaning those young people who have been granted a reprieve from deportation under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
While the measure stopped short of establishing a definitive path to citizenship for those dreamers who want to serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, it nevertheless earned widespread support outside of the house committee, including FWD.us, the immigrant advocacy group founded by tech industry titans like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer.
In recent developments, however, it appears as if the movement to allow dreamers to don a U.S. military uniform has officially been defeated, as the House of Representatives voted 221 to 202 to strip the measure from the larger defense bill just yesterday.
Here, opponents of the measure were able to successfully argue that it was tantamount to amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and would serve to deprive spots in the armed forces to citizens and lawful immigrants.
Not surprisingly, the measure's defeat was met with outrage, with some lawmakers calling the action "un-American" or even "xenophobic."
It is worth noting that statistics reveal that as recently as 2009, there were over 100,000 foreign-born people serving in the U.S. military, and that close to 12 percent of these brave men and women were actually undocumented immigrants.
It will be interesting to see a similar measure comes before Congress anytime soon ...
If you have questions about citizenship, adjustment of status or any other immigration-related matter, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.