The DREAM Act and our Military

The United States has had a long history of foreigners fighting with us in our conflicts both at home and abroad. There also has been a fair share of problems with this relationship. Instituting the DREAM Act is one thing we could do to prevent spies and saboteurs from infiltrating our ranks is to offer them citizenship. This is a highly valued prize in many nations around the globe, and could be more than others are willing to pay for their allegiance.

If someone is willing to put their life on the line to defend this country, then not offering them citizenship and not allowing them to be a part of the democratic process for which they made that sacrifice is a crime of the highest magnitude. Their sacrifice is a demonstration of their commitment to us, and our good faith return of appreciation for this should demonstrate the respect of a grateful nation. No one who has served in the armed services of the United States of America should be denied any of the benefits and responsibilities of this country. Ask any veteran.

But respect and gratitude is not all there is to this subject. If we are not willing to follow through with our commitment to them, what would prevent them from reneging on their commitment to us? A half-committed soldier is not the person anyone would want to be out on patrol with. Our men and women need to trust 100% that the person next to them is going to be there when the stuff hits the fan.

Having non-citizens in our military at all seems like a direct conflict of interest with our national security. Which country will that person side with if we should go to war in their home country? We have only to look toward Iraq and Afghanistan to see current examples of how our military is attacked while working with soldiers of “friendly” countries.

Will they be effective in their mission knowing that soon they will be sent home as civilians and have to face their neighbors for the actions they performed while their allegiances were given to a foreign country?

Will they be able to kill if needed, knowing they might be related to, or grew up with the person in the vehicle they just blew up?

Will they be able to go back home and forget all the things we made them do to their fellow countrymen?

Will their friends and neighbors understand and forgive them?

It is because of these possible conflicts of interest, and more, that all military personnel should be citizens on the day they graduate basic training. Anything less does neither the US, nor our citizen soldiers any good. It does even less for the immigrant.

The DREAM Act, if designed better than our Republican politicians would like, could help us correct this problem, and ensure a stronger, more secure military defense.

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