California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Joint ResolutionNo. 19


Introduced by Assembly Member Alejo

(Principal coauthor: Senator Hueso)

May 27, 2015


Assembly Joint Resolution No. 19—Relative to military service.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AJR 19, as introduced, Alejo. Military service.

This measure would urge the Congress of the United States to enact legislation allowing immigrants to serve in the military if they are eligible under the President’s Executive Order for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Executive Order for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, Since the end of the last United States military
2draft in 1973, Americans have not been obligated to enlist, and
3currently less than one percent of the United States population
4serves in the armed forces. During World War II, up to twelve
5percent of the population served in the armed forces; and

6WHEREAS, Thousands of immigrants have served and continue
7serving in vital military roles, including intelligence, information
8operations such as foreign language translators, interpreters, and
9cultural experts, making them an essential resource to our national
10defense; and

11WHEREAS, The United States Army has recently expanded its
12Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI)
13program to allow immigrants with certain skills that are in demand
P2    1to join the Army in exchange for expedited United States
2citizenship; and

3WHEREAS, Since 2009, over 14,500 United States military
4personnel on active duty serving in our armed forces are
5immigrants that are not United States citizens; and

6WHEREAS, Since the September 11th attacks, more than 53,000
7immigrants have enlisted in the United States military and have
8received wartime military naturalization; and

9WHEREAS, One of the first casualties of the United States
10intervention in Iraq was an undocumented immigrant from
11Guatemala, Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, who was granted American
12citizenship posthumously. Subsequently, more than 100 immigrant
13soldiers have been granted posthumous citizenship after dying in
14defense of the United States during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan;
15and

16WHEREAS, As of 2008, the highest percentage of foreign-born
17United States military personnel was from Latin America and the
18Caribbean, with 38.7 percent (23,926) originating from Latin
19America and 35.9 percent (22,226) from Asia; and

20WHEREAS, Over 5 million immigrants in the United States
21and over 1.5 million immigrants in California are eligible under
22the President’s Executive Order for Deferred Action for Childhood
23Arrivals (DACA) program and Executive Order for Deferred
24Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents
25(DAPA) program and could, at the appropriate age, join the military
26in defense of their nation; and

27WHEREAS, Currently, an amendment to the National Defense
28Authorization Act (NDAA) that would allow some young
29immigrants with DACA status to serve in the military was passed
30out of the House Armed Services Committee with bipartisan
31support; now, therefore, be it

32Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
33California, jointly,
That the Legislature urges the Congress of the
34United States to enact legislation allowing immigrants to serve in
35the military if they are eligible under the President’s Executive
36Order for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Executive
37Order for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful
38Permanent Residents; and be it further

39Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
40of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
P3    1States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
2Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, to the Majority
3Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, and to
4each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress
5of the United States.



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