Democrats to Make Eleventh-hour Amnesty Push Under the Guise of Supporting the Military
FAIR Take | December 2022
True to form, Congressional Democrats are cloaking yet another sinister legislative push under the guise of supporting the military. Next week, they will bring H.R. 7946, the Veteran Service Recognition Act, to the House floor before Republicans take control in January. Don’t be fooled by the bill’s name or the spin. It grants amnesty to service members’ illegal-alien relatives who haven’t served a day in their lives, creates a woke advisory board to undermine immigration courts, empowers Alejandro Mayorkas to cancel deportation of criminal service members, and virtually eliminates the requirement that ne’er-do-well service members show “good moral character” to become citizens. While we honor the heroic service of our military and veterans, we don’t support using them as pawns to score political points for the radical Democratic base while throwing fuel on the fire at the border and endangering American communities.
At best, this bill is unnecessary. Individuals must generally be at least lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to enlist in the military, and LPRs in the military already enjoy an expedited process to become citizens. Unlike civilians, such aliens need not have been LPRs in the U.S. for at least five years. They only need to have served honorably for a year and can file up to six months after discharge. If they served during “hostilities,” which have been ongoing since 9/11, they don’t need to show any duration of service or U.S. residence whatsoever. This is a sweet deal for service members but isn’t enough for open-borders Democrats.
The bill expands fast-track naturalization, without any period of service required, to any service member – active or reserves – who supported a “contingency operation.” This includes times as designated by the Secretary of Defense during which the military “may become” involved in hostilities, and could cover virtually any time at all. It extends amnesty to illegal-alien relatives of service members or veterans who served at least two years. These relatives never served a day in their lives and broke our laws.
As if that wasn’t enough, the bill also creates a woke advisory board called the Military Family Immigration Advisory Committee, with nine members hand-picked by Alejandro Mayorkas, to provide recommendations on “the exercise of discretion” when alien service members, veterans, or their families are in removal proceedings. As DHS Secretary, Mayorkas would be empowered, with limited exceptions, to give green cards to military members or veterans with removal orders if he finds it “in the public interest.” These may be aliens who committed violent crimes, yet they would be automatically considered to have established “good moral character” – a requirement to become a citizen – once Mayorkas gives them a green card.
It also creates a database of aliens who “may be” veterans which must be consulted before initiating removal proceedings. It even creates annual trainings where bureaucrats can indoctrinate ICE employees on how to avoid deporting criminal service-member aliens. An employee of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – or a service member or Defense Department employee trained in immigration law – would be posted at each of the 65 military entrance processing stations to “inform” recruits about naturalization. Recruiters and members of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps – officers that serve as defense counsel in military courts-martial – would receive training to be “liaisons” to USCIS and/or “resolve emergency immigration-related situations.”
This bill does not support the military or veterans, but rather the woke, open-borders, radical activists to whom Congressional Democrats are beholden. Having failed to deliver for their base this Congress, they are desperate to throw activists a bone during the lame-duck. Sensible lawmakers of both parties must not fall for this trap and instead vote against this amnesty push and all others.