Need a Visa? Join the Army!
Illustration by: Matt Mahurin
The ongoing efforts of state and local governments to drive out undocumented immigrants may end up favoring the Armed Forces. The Selective Service, which is not so selective these days, given the dearh of volunteers, is willing to recruit a few good aliens, and maybe lots of them.
Let’s start with the rules on registration with the Selective Service. Who must register?
Almost all…male noncitizens are required to register, including illegal aliens, legal permanent residents, and refugees. The general rule is that if a male noncitizen takes up residency in the U.S. before his 26th birthday, he must register with Selective Service.
If that is not clear enough, consider this message prominently displayed on the Service’s home page:
ATTENTION, UNDOCUMENTED MALES & IMMIGRANT SERVICING GROUPS!
If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law. You can register at any U.S. Post Office and do not need a social security number. When you do obtain a social security number, let Selective Service know….
Selective Service does not collect any information which would indicate whether or not you are undocumented. You want to protect yourself for future U.S. citizenship and other government benefits and programs by registering with Selective Service. Do it today.
Last year, the Pentagon was looking for legislation to enable the recruitment of the crème de la crème among young undocumented immigrants. The following was reported in a June 2007 article from the U.S. Department of Defense,
A senior defense official expressed hope today that a provision in the stalled immigration bill that would have allowed some undocumented aliens to join the military won’t fall off the radar screen.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, provision in the immigration bill was expected to help boost military recruiting, Bill Carr, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said today during a telephone conference with veterans’ group representatives.
The DREAM provision offered a way for high-achieving children of undocumented or illegal residents to join the military and, ultimately, become citizens, Carr explained.
“In other words, if you had come across (the border) with your parents, yet you were a minor child and have been in the U.S. school system for a number of years, then you could be eligible to enlist,” he said. “And at the end of that enlistment, then you would be eligible to become a citizen.”
Because the provision would have applied only to the “cream of the crop” of students who have demonstrated top aptitude, it would have been “very appealing” to the military, Carr said. “It would have been good for readiness,” he said.
Immigration reform did not prosper, however, and these provisions were not enacted. Still, not all is lost. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services posted this announcement in January:
Members and certain veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to apply for United States citizenship under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In addition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has streamlined the application and naturalization process for military personnel serving on active-duty or recently discharged…
I’d hope that all this information has been translated from English to other languages. The possibilities are clear. In the future, the Armed Forces may be able to launch ground attacks using only aliens looking for legalization–if they survive the full application process.