BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AJR 19|
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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AJR 19
          Author:   Alejo (D), et al.
          Amended:  6/25/15 in Assembly
          Vote:     21 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  70-2, 6/25/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Military service


          SOURCE:    Author


          DIGEST:  This resolution urges the Congress of the United States  
          to enact legislation allowing immigrants to serve in the  
          military if they are eligible under the Presidents Executive  
          Order for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Executive  
          Order for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful  
          Permanent Residents.


          ANALYSIS:   This resolution makes the following legislative  
          findings:


          1)Since the end of the last United States military draft in  
            1973, Americans have not been obligated to enlist, and  
            currently less than 1% of the United States population serves  
            in the armed forces.  During World War II, up to 12% of the  
            population served 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,  








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            and cultural experts, making them an essential resource to our  
            national defense.


          3)The United States Army has recently expanded its Military  
            Accessions Vital to the National Interest program to allow  
            immigrants with certain skills that are in demand to join the  
            Army in exchange for expedited United States citizenship.


          4)Over five million immigrants in the United States and over 1.5  
            million immigrants in California are eligible under the  
            President's Executive Order for Deferred Action for Childhood  
            Arrivals (DACA) program and Executive Order for Deferred  
            Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents  
            program and could, at the appropriate age, join the military  
            in defense of their nation.


          5)Currently, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization  
            Act 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.


          This resolution urges 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.


          Background


          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  








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          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 (MAVNI)  
          program 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 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, 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  








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          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.  The program is currently recruiting applicants  
          with proficiency in at least two of 49 languages, including such  
          rare languages as Cebuano, Igbo, and Uzbek.  The MAVNI program  
          is also recruiting in a number of medical specialties, including  
          rare specialties such as otolaryngologist, entomologist, and  
          prosthodontist.   
          (http://www.goarmy.com/benefits/additional-incentives/mavni.html. 
          )


          Pending federal legislation encourages military eligibility for  
          persons eligible under DACA.  Arizona Rep. 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 U.S.C. Section  
          504(b)(1) for the purposes of making a determination and  
          authorization whether or not to allow the 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 Rep. 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.  


          Comments


          According to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, since the  
          September 11th attacks, more than 53,000 immigrants have  
          enlisted in the U.S. military and have received wartime military  
          naturalization.  Federal legislation is necessary to grant  
          undocumented immigrants the opportunity to serve the country in  








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          which they live, by enlisting and serving in the U.S. Armed  
          Forces.


          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No


          SUPPORT:   (Verified7/1/15)


          None received


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified7/1/15)


          None received


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     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  
            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.
           
           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  70-2, 6/25/15
           AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Baker, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brough,  
            Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chávez, Chiu,  








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            Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dodd, Eggman,  
            Frazier, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson,  
            Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Roger Hernández,  
            Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder,  
            Lopez, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina,  
            Mullin, Nazarian, O'Donnell, Olsen, Perea, Quirk, Rendon,  
            Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark  
            Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Weber, Wilk, Williams, Wood,  
            Atkins
           NOES: Gallagher, Harper
           NO VOTE RECORDED: Travis Allen, Bigelow, Beth Gaines, Jones,  
            Melendez, Obernolte, Patterson, Waldron


          Prepared by: Karen Chow / SFA / (916) 651-1520
          7/1/15 16:51:32
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