BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AJR  
          19 (Alejo)


          As Introduced  May 27, 2015


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Judiciary       |9-1  |Mark Stone, Wagner,   |Gallagher           |
          |                |     |Alejo, Chau, Chiu,    |                    |
          |                |     |Cristina Garcia,      |                    |
          |                |     |Holden, Maienschein,  |                    |
          |                |     |O'Donnell             |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 


          SUMMARY:  Urges Congress to allow immigrants who are eligible  
          under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and  
          Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent  
          Residents (DAPA) to serve in the military.  Specifically, this  
          resolution makes the following findings: 


          1)Since the end of the last draft in 1973, Americans have not  
            been obligated to enlist in the United States (U.S.) armed  
            services.  During World War II up to 12% of the population  








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            served in the armed forces, but currently less than 1% of the  
            U.S. population serves in the armed forces.


          2)Thousands of immigrants have served and continue serving in  
            vital military roles, including intelligence, information  
            operations such as foreign language translators, interpreters  
            and cultural experts, making them an essential resource to our  
            national defense.


          3)The U.S. Army has recently expanded its Military Accessions  
            Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program to allow  
            immigrants with certain in-demand skills to enlist in exchange  
            for expedited U.S. citizenship.


          4)Since 2009, over 14,500 U.S. military personnel on active duty  
            in our armed forces are immigrants who are not U.S. citizens;  
            and since the September 11th attacks, more than 53,000  
            immigrants have enlisted in the U.S. military and have  
            received wartime military naturalization.


          5)One of the first casualties of the U.S. intervention in Iraq  
            was an immigrant from Guatemala who had a green card, Lance  
            Corporal.  Jose Gutierrez, who was granted American  
            citizenship posthumously.  Subsequently, more than 100  
            immigrant soldiers have been granted posthumous citizenship  
            after dying in defense of the U.S. during combat in Iraq and  
            Afghanistan.


          6)As of 2008, the highest percentage of foreign-born U.S.  
            military personnel was from Latin America and the Caribbean,  
            with 39% originating from Latin America and 36% from Asia.


          7)Over 5 million immigrants in the U.S. and over 1.5 million  








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            immigrants in California are eligible under the President's  
            Executive Orders for DACA and DAPA programs and could, at the  
            appropriate age, join the military in defense of their nation.


          8)Recently, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization  
            Act (NDAA) that would allow some young immigrants with DACA  
            status to serve in the military was passed out of the House  
            Armed Services Committee with bipartisan support.


          EXISTING LAW:


          1)Provides that a person may be enlisted in the armed forces  
            only if the person is one of the following:
             a)   A national of the United States, as defined in the  
               Immigration and Nationality Act.
             b)   An alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent  
               residence, as defined in the Immigration and Nationality  
               Act.  


          2)The Secretary of the Defense may authorize the enlistment of a  
            person not described in 1) above, if the Secretary determines  
            that such enlistment is vital to the national interest.  
          FISCAL EFFECT:  None


          COMMENTS:  According to the author:


               Currently, undocumented immigrants are not allowed to  
               enlist in our U.S. Armed Forces.  Over 5 million  
               immigrants in the United States and over 1.5 million  
               immigrants in California are eligible under the  
               President's Executive Orders for Deferred Action for  
               Childhood Arrivals program and Deferred Action for  
               Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents  








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               program and could, at the appropriate age, join the  
               military in defense of their nation.


               The majority of immigrants covered by the President's  
               Executive Orders... are Americans for all intents and  
               purposes, and all this resolution requests is that  
               Congress give them the opportunity to serve their  
               country in the Armed Forces. 



          The History of Immigrants Serving in the United States Military.  
           To most people who have some knowledge of U.S. history, it is a  
          known fact that foreigners have fought in the American military  
          since French and Polish-born soldiers assisted George Washington  
          in winning the Revolutionary War.  Accordingly, a 2009 report by  
          Retired Lieutenant Colonel Margaret Stock, Essential to the  
          Fight: Immigrants in the Military Eight Years After 9/11, states  
          that ever since the Revolutionary War, immigrants have been  
          eligible to enlist in the U.S. military and have done so with  
          great distinction.  Many immigrants have gone on to win this  
          nation's highest military decoration, the Congressional Medal of  
          Honor.  Two examples of immigrants who have served in the U.S.  
          military and achieved great honors in the process are Alfred  
          Rascon, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, and John  
          Shalikashvili, who came to the U.S. from Poland shortly after  
          World War II.  These two men are exemplary examples of the  
          contributions immigrants can make to the U.S. both during and  
          after serving in the U.S. military.  Alfred Rascon won the Medal  
          of Honor during the Vietnam War and eventually became the  
          Director of the Selective Service.  John Shalikashvili  
          eventually served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.   
          (Margaret D. Stock, Essential to the Fight: Immigrants in the  
          Military Eight Years After 9/11, Immigrant Policy Center Special  
          Report, November 2009.)


          The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest Program  








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          is Limited in the Number of Immigrants it can Help Attain  
          Citizenship.  In September 2014, the Pentagon publicly announced  
          that the MAVNI program would accept applications from  
          undocumented immigrants, if they qualified as "Dreamers."   
          Dreamers are young people who entered this country illegally,  
          have lived most of their lives in America, have graduated from  
          high school or earned a General Educational Development (GED),  
          and have maintained a clean legal record.  Enlistment in the  
          MAVNI program has been limited to 1,500 recruits annually.   
          However in April 2015, the Army announced plans to double its  
          enlistments in the MAVNI program from 1,500 to 3,000 recruits by  
          the end of Fiscal Year 2015; and to 5,000 recruits in Fiscal  
          Year 2016.


          The current MAVNI program criteria requires that an applicant,  
          at the time of his or her enlistment:  1) must qualify under one  
          of 19 non-immigrant categories, have Asylee, refugee, or  
          temporary protected status (TPS), or be eligible under DACA; 2)  
          must legally reside in the U.S. for at least two years prior to  
          joining the Army (excluding DACA applicants); 3) must have a  
          high school diploma; 4) must have a qualifying score on the  
          Armed Forces Qualification Test; and 5) must have a proficiency  
          in his or her native language.  The in-demand skills currently  
          being sought for applicants to the MAVNI program include  
          proficiency in more than one language or specific medical  
          specialties.   
          (http://www.goarmy.com/benefits/additional-incentives/mavni.html. 
          )


          Pending Federal Legislation Encourages Military Eligibility for  
          Persons Eligible Under DACA.  Arizona Representative Ruben  
          Gallego serves on the House Armed Services Committee and has  
          successfully pushed for amendment language to be included in the  
          2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  This amendment  
          requires the Secretary of Defense to review 10 United States  
          Code Section 504(b)(1) for the purposes of making a  
          determination and authorization whether or not to allow the  








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          enlistment of persons with employment authorization under the  
          DACA program, into the Armed Forces.  The amendment passed out  
          of the House Armed Services Committee with bipartisan support,  
          but final approval is far from guaranteed.  More than two dozen  
          House Republicans, led by Alabama Representative Mo Brooks, have  
          threatened to oppose the $612 billion defense authorization bill  
          if the immigration provision is not stripped from the bill.  On  
          June 18, 2015, the U.S. Senate passed its version of NDAA,  
          without an immigration provision.  Both versions of NDAA must be  
          reconciled by Congress before the final version can proceed to  
          the president's desk for signature or veto.  


          The U.S. Military Has Granted Citizenship to Soldiers  
          Posthumously.  There are many soldiers who have died in military  
          service to our country, even though they had not been granted  
          U.S. citizenship before their deaths.  In 2002, President George  
          W. Bush proclaimed in an Executive Order that all immigrants who  
          have served honorable on active duty in the armed forces after  
          September 11, 2001, would be eligible to apply for expedited  
          U.S. citizenship.  (Executive Order No. 13269, 67 FR 45287 (July  
          8, 2002).)  As a result, more than 53,000 immigrants have taken  
          advantage of this expedited citizen provision to become U.S.  
          citizens as of October 2009.  As a result of this executive  
          order, more U.S. citizenships were granted under Immigration and  
          Nationality Act Section 329A, 8 United States Code Section  
          1440-1, the federal statute that allows citizenship to be  
          granted to immigrants who die on active duty during periods of  
          conflict.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Khadijah Hargett / JUD. / (916) 319-2334    FN:  
          0001056











                                                                     AJR 19


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