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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and military eligibility

In North Carolina and across the nation, recent controversies have arisen concerning whether undocumented immigrants should be eligible to serve in the armed forces of the United States. Advocates say that those who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals should be allowed to join the military if they so choose. On a recent Thursday, the House voted to delete the language needed in the defense authorization bill that could have led to a Pentagon review of the topic.

In April 2015, the House Armed Services Committee requested a review as to whether undocumented immigrants who have qualified for deferred action should be permitted to enlist in military service. In the recent 221-202 House vote, that recommendation was removed. Reports indicate that partisan discord exists among Republicans with some supporting undocumented immigrants who qualify for delayed deportation to be able to join the military, while others say that no undocumented immigrant should be allowed to serve.

One Representative from Washington recently spoke in support of military service eligibility for certain undocumented immigrants. Also, one of the current presidential candidate campaign directors stated that undocumented immigrants who want to serve in the military should be honored, and, instead, have been discriminated against. Allowing them to serve, she said, would be a step in the right direction for the nation.

North Carolina residents who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who have questions about the the prospect of serving in the military, exercising a voting privilege, obtaining a driver's license or other legal issues can contact a legal professional with experience in immigration and naturalization law. A consultation with a qualified attorney could provide resources and information in answer to those and other questions concerned immigrants might have. Whether legislation regarding military service for undocumented immigrants will be proposed remains to be seen.

Source:, "House strips immigration language from defense bill", Seung Min Kim, May 14, 2015

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