Amended in Assembly June 25, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Joint ResolutionNo. 19


Introduced by Assembly Member Alejo

(Principal coauthor: Senator Hueso)

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Achadjian, Atkins, Baker, Bloom, Bonilla, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Olsen, Perea, Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Weber, Wilk, Williams, and Wood)

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May 27, 2015


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

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AJR 19, as amended, 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
P1    1currently less than one percent of the United States population
2serves in the armed forces. During World War II, up to twelve
3percent of the population served in the armed forces; and

4WHEREAS, Thousands of immigrants have served and continue
5serving in vital military roles, including intelligence, information
6operations such as foreign language translators, interpreters, and
7cultural experts, making them an essential resource to our national
8defense; and

9WHEREAS, The United States Army has recently expanded its
10Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI)
11program to allow immigrants with certain skills that are in demand
12to join the Army in exchange for expedited United States
13citizenship; and

14WHEREAS, Since 2009, over 14,500 United States military
15personnel on active duty serving in our armed forces are
16immigrants that are not United States citizens; and

17WHEREAS, Since the September 11th attacks, more than 53,000
18immigrants have enlisted in the United States military and have
19received wartime military naturalization; and

20WHEREAS, One of the first casualties of the United States
21intervention in Iraq was an undocumented immigrant from
22Guatemala, Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, who was granted American
23citizenship posthumously. Subsequently, more than 100 immigrant
24soldiers have been granted posthumous citizenship after dying in
25defense of the United States during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan;
26and

27WHEREAS, As of 2008, the highest percentage of foreign-born
28United States military personnel was from Latin America and the
29Caribbean, with 38.7 percent (23,926) originating from Latin
30America and 35.9 percent (22,226) from Asia; and

31WHEREAS, Over 5 million immigrants in the United States
32and over 1.5 million immigrants in California are eligible under
33the President’s Executive Order for Deferred Action for Childhood
34Arrivals (DACA) program and Executive Order for Deferred
35Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents
36(DAPA) program and could, at the appropriate age, join the military
37in defense of their nation; and

38WHEREAS, Currently, an amendment to the National Defense
39Authorization Act (NDAA) that would allow some young
40immigrants with DACA status to serve in the military was passed
P3    1out of the House Armed Services Committee with bipartisan
2support; now, therefore, be it

3Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
4California, jointly,
That the Legislature urges the Congress of the
5United States to enact legislation allowing immigrants to serve in
6the military if they are eligible under the President’s Executive
7Order for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Executive
8Order for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful
9Permanent Residents; and be it further

10Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
11of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
12States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
13Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, to the Majority
14Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, and to
15each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress
16of the United States.



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