As President Barack Obama weighs executive actions on immigration issues, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) is calling on the Department of Defense to allow young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers to serve in the military.
In 2012, Obama set up the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants a two-year protection against deportation for DREAMers, or immigrants who came to the United States as young children prior to June of 2007. The program lets the immigrants work in the country legally, for example, but it does not provide them with a pathway to citizenship or allow them to join the U.S. Armed Forces.
"To qualify for a DACA exemption, applicants must undergo background checks and finish high school," Foster said at a press conference Friday morning in Washington, D.C. "It is simply bad policy to turn away these young men and women while we struggle to find qualified Americans who are able and willing to serve. And it is morally reprehensible to deny these patriotic young men and women the opportunity to serve the country they love."
Most lawmakers in the GOP-led U.S. House are "failing the Latino community" when it comes to immigration issues, according to a preliminary score card released last week.
The initial 2014 National Immigration Score Card is based on immigration-related votes taken by the 435 House members of the current 113th Congress.
The worst score of 59 percent went to 219 House members, all of whom are Republicans including six from Illinois. A total of 170 House lawmakers, all Democrats, received the best score of 100 percent, with nine of them being from Illinois. As a whole, the House earned an average score of 77 percent.
“Our community is being disproportionately devastated by the broken immigration system that this Congress refuses to fix. This preliminary score card shows that most in Congress are clearly failing us on immigration right now,” said the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement's (LCLAA) Executive Director Hector Sanchez. “Latinos can no longer tolerate more excuses on why reform has not passed."