Republicans Make Case for Gosar Amdt. #9 and Stopping Obama’s Backdoor Amnesty

May 17, 2016 Issues: Immigration and Border Security

For Immediate Release

Date: May 17, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), along with cosponsors of his amendment (#9) to H.R. 4909, the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), released statements in support of his amendment and condemning the Obama Administration for hijacking a program for lawful aliens in order to provide backdoor amnesty to DACA aliens:

Congressman Gosar stated, “It’s time that we stop playing politics with the Defense Authorization and ensure that a provision meant to allow military readiness isn’t hijacked in order to provide backdoor amnesty to DACA aliens. Sadly, open border advocates have once again put politics ahead of the needs of our men and women in uniform in attempting to enact President Obama’s lawless immigration agenda. There is no labor shortage and we are in the midst of eliminating 160,000 uniformed personnel positions over a nine-year stretch. Given this fact, it is wrong for the Obama Administration to prioritize enlisting illegal immigrants over Americans and legal immigrants that want to serve our nation.”

“It makes no sense to me that, at the same time the Army is downsizing and issuing pink slips to American soldiers, there are Congressmen who help illegal aliens deprive American citizens of military service opportunities. Congress serves as a body to check and balance the powers of the executive branch in accordance with the Constitution, not to aid the White House in violating the Constitution.” 
– Congressman Mo Brooks

“This amendment is critical in stopping the President from continuing to play political games with illegal immigration. Under the guise of allowing DACA aliens to enlist in the military, he is creating another pathway to amnesty, all while continuing to reduce our troop strength.”
– Congressman John Fleming

“Congress needs to be clear that the U.S. military is only open to men and women who have legal presence in this country – an important issue to protect our national security. The President’s illegal actions on DACA do not provide the legal status necessary to serve in the U.S. military – and Rep. Gosar’s amendment reflects that.” – Congressman Andy Harris

“We have immigration laws in this country for two reasons: to protect national security and to preserve American jobs.  Allowing illegal immigrants to serve in our military violates both of those principles.  We will have no real way of knowing who were are letting into our armed forces, which is a tremendous security concern.  And they will be taking spots from legal non-citizens at a time when our military is being squeezed like never before.  The United States military is the last place the Obama Administration should be trying to inject its immigration politics.” – Lou Barletta

“At a time when we are drawing down our military forces, and unable to retain and promote the men and women who have so bravely served our country, it is irrational, demeaning and absurd to ask that we prioritize the DREAMers over our own service members.” – Congressman Dave Brat

“Again, President Obama is trying to circumvent the rule of law and bypass congress with his pen and phone.  President Obama, instead of working to solve our broken immigration system with responsible immigration reform is making it worse.  His wish to allow DACA individuals that entered our country illegally, to serve in the military and then be granted citizenship will only entice and increase the flow of people entering our country illegally.  Mr. President, don't put your personal desires above the rule of law and the wishes of (legal) American citizens.” – Congressman Ted Yoho

“President Obama’s executive amnesty is an outrageous overreach of presidential authority, and Congress shouldn’t allow its expansion into the NDAA,” said Congressman Walter Jones. “We shouldn’t be using the NDAA as a vehicle for conforming to President Obama’s radical immigration ‘reform.’ I have consistently voted to stop illegal immigration into this country and I will not support the expansion of President Obama’s executive amnesty in the NDAA.” – Congressman Walter Jones

Background:

The full text of Congressman Gosar’s amendment can be found HERE

Congressman Gosar testified in front of the Rules Committee today on the need to make his amendment in order. His opening statement can be found HERE.

Rep. Gallego claims that the amendment that passed Committee and Section 597 of the House NDAA “Affirm the Secretary’s broad discretionary power to enable immigrants – including [DACA aliens] – to enlist in the military.” 

Given the pending U.S. v. Texas Supreme Court Case, we must strike 597 on that basis alone or left-wing attorneys will attempt to use Rep. Gallego’s statements to claim that Congress approves of the DACA program. The Obama Administration will also continue to purposely misinterpret federal law as allowing DACA aliens to enlist through the MAVNI program.

 In 2014, the Obama Administration issued a memo that allowed DACA aliens to enlist in a program for lawful immigrants and lawful nonimmigrants called the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program. MAVNI is a pilot program created in 2008 “to recruit certain legal aliens whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest.” MAVNI currently allows citizenship to be granted to any enlistee that serves at least one day of wartime service.

Prior to this memo, the administration never attempted to enlist DACA aliens through MAVNI. The Gosar amendment simply reaffirms the military enlistment policies in place prior to this memo that allowed for the enlistment of lawful immigrants and lawful nonimmigrants.

DACA aliens don’t have lawful status as confirmed by the Department of Homeland Security and the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. Given that DACA aliens do not have lawful status, they should not be able to participate in the MAVNI program for lawful aliens. 

In fact, MAVNI was never intended to be utilized for the benefit of illegal aliens. Testimony from DOD states that MAVNI was created to “recruit legal non-citizens with critical foreign language and cultural skills.” The Army’s website states, “MAVNI is a recruiting program that allows legal non-citizens with in-demand skills to join the Army in exchange for expedited U.S. citizenship.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel. Margaret Stock, who created and implemented the MAVNI program, previously stated as quoted in a Politico story, “It’s a major bureaucratic screw-up by the Obama administration…The MAVNI program is not designed for DACA at all…It was rather alarming to see DACAs being put into MAVNI. Someone didn’t know what they were doing.” An Army Times Story quoted Stock as stating, “It was set up for people who are legally in the country, and had been legal their whole history…They have to go back and redo all the security screenings, train recruiters all over again… it's one of these things where people want magic to happen, and bureaucracy doesn't work that way.” These comments are even more noteworthy as Stock is a big amnesty supporter and testified in support of provisions in an earlier version of the DREAM Act.

The Congressman’s amendment is endorsed by Americans for Limited Government, Eagle Forum, Heritage Action, the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA.

Cosponsors of Congressman Gosar’s amendment include: (19): Brian Babin, Lou Barletta, Dave Brat, Jim Bridenstine, Mo Brooks, Scott DesJarlais, John Fleming, Garret Graves, Glenn Grothman, Andy Harris, Walter Jones, Steve King, Tom McClintock, Pete Olson, Steve Palazzo, Gary Palmer, Lamar Smith, Randy Weber and Ted Yoho.

Copied below is a myth vs. fact page with more information on the Gosar amendment.
(Click to expand)

 

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