In a contentious shift in policy stance, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is currently supporting a bold proposal put forth by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). The proposal suggests enabling undocumented immigrants to join the U.S. military as a means to attain citizenship.
In his recent speech, he emphasized the need for legal immigration, proposing that individuals who are undocumented but can successfully undergo physical and background assessments should be permitted to enlist in the military. As a reciprocal gesture for their commendable service, they would be eligible for U.S. citizenship.
Durbin’s reasoning centers on the challenges the military faces in recruiting. He asserts that there are undocumented individuals willing to enlist and make sacrifices for the nation, presenting an opportunity for the military to fulfill its recruitment targets.
Senator Dick Durbin wants to make it possible for illegal immigrants to join the US military: “Do you know what the recruiting numbers are at the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force? They can’t reach their quotas each month. They can’t find enough people to join.” pic.twitter.com/UWuGSfrSkF
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) December 4, 2023
“The presiding officer, my colleague from the state of Illinois, has legislation which addresses one aspect of that. Her bill, and I hope I describe it accurately, says that if you are an undocumented person in this country and you can pass the physical and the required test, background test, the like, you can serve in our military. And if you do it honorably, we will make you citizens of the United States. Do we need that? Do you know what the recruiting numbers are at the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force? They can’t reach their quotas each month. They can’t find enough people to join our military forces. And there are those who are undocumented who want the chance to serve and risk their lives for this country. Should we give them the chance? I think we should,” Durbin stated.
Nevertheless, this suggestion has encountered significant resistance. Opponents contend that it weakens the foundation of legal principles and may present security concerns. They argue that permitting undocumented individuals to serve in the military and obtain citizenship could incentivize illegal immigration and potentially jeopardize the integrity of the armed forces.
The Democratic Party aims to address a historic low in military recruitment by advocating for the inclusion of undocumented immigrants in our armed forces. A similar legislation was enacted earlier this year in Illinois, where Democratic Governor JB Pritzker approved a bill permitting illegal immigrants to serve as police officers.
On Friday, the legislation, identified as HB3751, was signed into law and promptly took effect.
The bill specifies that individuals who are legally permitted to work in the United States under federal law or those who have had immigration action deferred by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process can submit applications to become officers.
The Fraternal Order of Police vehemently opposed the legislation, emphasizing that the role of an officer is to uphold the law. According to the union, individuals lacking legal status should not meet the qualifications for such a position.
“What message does this legislation send when it allows people who do not have legal status to become enforcers of our laws? This is a potential crisis of confidence in law enforcement at a time when our officers need all of the public confidence they can get. Make no mistake, we will welcome these potential police recruits with open arms once their citizenshop status is solidified, and look forward to the unique perspective they can bring to our profession,” the union stated.