By a 221-202 vote, the House voted Thursday to remove language from the annual national defense authorization bill that would have opened the door to allow young illegal immigrants to enlist in the military.
An amendment introduced by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., to strip the immigration language from the bill was opposed by all House Democrats — 20 Republicans joined them in opposing the amendment, according to The Hill, which reported:
The 20 Republicans who voted against the measure were Reps. Mike Coffman (Colo.), Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Bob Dold (Ill.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), John Katko (N.Y.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Tom MacArthur (N.J.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Dave Reichert (Wash.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Fred Upton (Mich.) and David Valadao (Calif.).
The language was introduced in the House Armed Services Committee by Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. during a marathon session to hammer out this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.
Brooks argued in a letter to House members Thursday that the language allowing illegals into the military was inserted during an “early morning, sleep-deprived portion,” and had no place in the NDAA.
“There is no military recruitment and retention deficit that justifies supplanting Americans and lawful immigrants with illegal aliens,” Brooks said during floor debate.
Iowa Republican Steve King agreed.
“This Congress cannot send a message to ratify the president’s lawless actions,” King said.
Hillary for America National Political Director Amanda Renteria released a statement on Thursday expressing the Democratic presidential candidate’s support for allowing immigrants to serve.
“If these courageous young men and women want to serve, they should be honored and celebrated, not discriminated against. Hillary Clinton is committed to comprehensive immigration reform to strengthen families and our country,” she said, according to The Hill.
“While we keep up the pressure for comprehensive action, allowing DREAMers to serve in the military is the right step forward,” Renteria added.
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