In Friday’s blog, I talked about how the greatest idea to solve the illegal immigration is to repeal the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, the one that states that anyone born in the United States is automatically a United States citizen. In that post, I briefly mentioned the option of granting US citizenship to those who volunteer for military service. It’s a position I’ve held since the idea was brought up about three years ago, and I truly believe that it is the way to go.
I say this because it actually solves two problems. One problem that is solves is the military recruiting problem. Over the years, less and less people have been volunteering to go into the service, and even though the military can boast over 100% recruitment in all branches, it’s only because they have been lowering their goals. There is a great distrust of the military for a variety of reasons. Some feel that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone on too long and don’t want to be a part of it. Others feel that all war is wrong, and they will not participate in any form.
The requirements for military enlistment has changed, also. It used to be that only men between a certain age and of certain physical fitness were allowed to enlist. Now that list has expanded: women are now allowed, the maximum age limit has been raised, and the physical condition has been relaxed slightly. And with the approaching repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, they will soon be adding openly gay servicepeople as well.
In fact, the military is already close to enacting an amnesty condition: “Noncitizens may enlist but cannot re-enlist (extend their enlistment beyond their first term of service) unless they become naturalized U.S. citizens. However, after three years of service, additional residency requirements for citizenship can be waived.” Technically, illegal immigrants can enlist in the military.
“The Military does not assist in the immigration naturalization process.” They should.
Those who come here illegally are coming for a reason, and by risking their lives to get here, they are showing that they would do anything to get here and stay here. Why not extend them the option of citizenship if they can prove their love of the country by risking their lives for it?
Obviously, there would need to be some conditions: illegal immigrants would have to serve in the military for a certain number of years, and the question of whether or not they should see active service can be discussed as well. Personally, I would even go so far as to grant citizenship to those who are injured in action. If you are willing to risk your health and your life for a country, you deserve to be a citizen of that country.
Apparently, this is a controversial position to hold, but I don’t see why. We see an increase in military recruitment, and we also see a decrease in undocumented workers. Five years of service for a green card, ten years of service for citizenship. Is that really asking too much?