Since President Obama handed down his ruling that he will ignore immigration law, and will stop deporting people who came to this country illegally while under 16 years old, there has been greater attention paid to the provisions of The Dream Act. This was a proposal to allow people to have a path to citizenship if they met certain criteria. The bill as a whole was controversial, and did not pass. One provision that seemed to have bipartisan support was the provision to allow those who had served honorably in the military to get special consideration when it comes to being granted citizenship. Many conservatives have spoken out recently about special treatment of these individuals. On the face of it, that does seem appropriate. If one looks deeper, however, no one seems concerned about the fact that our military apparently has no ability to confirm citizenship during enrollment? Put another way…We are a nation at war, and have no way of avoiding letting foreigners into our military.
There is no doubt that there are stories about people who thought they were citizens that have served admirably in our military. These people by all accounts are special, and should be treated that way. Having said that, what is the checking process that let these people get in the military in the first place? Do you just show up with a recent electric bill at the recruitment office, and “You’re in the Army Now”? Whatever inadequate process that allows someone foreign born to become a member of our Armed Forces, would also logically allow in those who intend to do us harm. Isn’t it reasonable to believe that a terrorist can be admitted to any branch of our military, learn vulnerabilities for future attack, and get free training in sophisticated weaponry to use against us?
Back when all that we had for security was a wax stamp, and a notation on a document from a quill dipped in ink, we thought it was important to not enlist foreigners in our military. Imagine if George Washington had been presented with this question of what to do about foreign born non-citizens who have served honorably in our military. His first reaction would not have been how do we deal with these honorable soldiers, it probably would have been to fire the Armed Forces personnel director. I’m sure it is no longer that easy, but why haven’t any of our current leaders raised this concern?
Our media loves to get to the human interest part of any story, tugging at heart strings seems to get a lot of viewers. That does not remove the responsibility of those in power to investigate the possibility of foreigners in our military. The fact that we are publicly discussing this issue seems to confirm that these people exist. We have a background check problem at a minimum, with a total breakdown and possible national security concerns at a maximum. We ignored the first attempt to blow up the World Trade Center much to our peril. Must we continue to draw the wrong conclusions when presented with a set of facts until another tragedy?