Resolution Urging Congress to Allow DACA/DAPA Eligible Immigrants to Serve in the Military Introduced

May 28, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, and Vice-Chair, Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 19, urging Congress to allow immigrants to serve in the military if they are eligible for deportation relief under the President’s Executive Orders for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) or Lawful Permanent Residents.

In April, the House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) urging the Secretary of Defense to consider allowing DACA-eligible immigrants to serve in the military.  Despite the amendment having bipartisan support, the full house voted in mid-May to strip away the amendment.  

“The majority of immigrants covered by the President’s Executive Actions have lived in the United States most of their lives,” states Alejo.  “This country is all they know.  They are Americans for all intents and purposes, and this resolution urges Congress to allow them to serve in their country’s military.”

Under the President’s Executive actions on immigration, over 5 million immigrants in the United States and over 1.5 million immigrants in California are eligible for deportation relief.

Since the September 11th attacks, more than 53,000 immigrants have received military naturalization in exchange for their service in the military.  In addition, over 100 immigrant soldiers have been granted posthumous citizenship after dying in defense of the United States during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

“Immigrants across California and the United States have always had the honor to fight for our nation and many have died in its defense,” states Hueso.  “Congress should not allow petty politics to stand in the way of their service to our nation.  Such disgraceful actions only serve to weaken our national defense.”

Assembly Joint Resolution 19 will be referred to the Rules Committee for assignment to a policy committee.  If passed, the measure will then be sent to the Assembly Floor for a vote before being sent to the Senate for consideration. 

For more information about the Latino Caucus, its members, and priorities, please visit the following web address:

# # #

Contact: Michelle Reyes / / (916) 319-2030