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Rep. Ruben Gallego Statement on the Defeat of Rep. Gosar’s Attempt to Block DREAMers from Serving in Uniform

May 20, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – An amendment to the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that would have prevented beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from serving in the armed forces was struck down in the House Rules Committee.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), would have altered bipartisan compromise language that affirms the Secretary of Defenses broad discretionary power to enable immigrants to enlist in the military by specifically excluding DACA beneficiaries, known as DREAMers. That compromise language, introduced by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), was approved by voice vote during the HASC markup of the bill in response to an amendment introduced by Rep. Gallego.

Rep. Ruben Gallego released the following statement:

“I am pleased that Congressman Gosar’s attempt to irresponsibly revise compromise language that could enable DREAMers to serve was rejected by cooler heads in the House GOP Leadership.

“This shouldn’t be a controversial issue. The Secretary of Defense has the statutory authority to allow any immigrant to enlist if it’s in our national interest – including DACA recipients who want to fight for our country. It’s about defense and what is in the best interest of our nation and our military.

“I’m glad to see that some Republicans are rejecting the tired, anti-immigrant policies promoted by the likes of Congressman Gosar, Congressman Steve King, and Donald Trump. Now it’s time for those Republicans to take a stand against the far-right wing of their party and start working with Democrats to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”