Retired Military Officers Oppose Amnesty in NDAA

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A group of 16 influential military leaders signed onto a letter sent to House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon to express their opposition to adding either Rep. Jeff Denham's (R-Calif.) ENLIST Act or Rep. Mike Coffman's (R-Colo.) Military Enlistment Act to the National Defense Authorization Act. Both bills would grant amnesty to certain illegal aliens who enlist in the military. The letter was facilitated by Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.

The retired military officers expressed their opposition to allowing individuals who broke U.S. immigration laws to join the military.

We believe it a serious mistake to open military service to those known to have violated the laws of the United States. Whether they have done so by coming to this country illegally and living here in violation of immigration statutes, either at their own initiative or as a result of the actions of family members, they have acted in a manner inconsistent with the oath to support and defend the Constitution that they will be required to swear upon enlisting.

Until now, such conduct has been deemed disqualifying and we believe it should continue to be so. It could enable adoption by the Congress of measures that would confer amnesty on millions of aliens illegally in this country and, by failing to secure the borders, ensure that millions more will be headed here in due course.

The military leaders also raised the concern that the bill could be used as a vehicle to include the entire Senate-approved Schumer-Obama amnesty bill.

The nation's largest veterans group, the American Legion, has also expressed their opposition to the military amnesty bills. The House Armed Services Committee will be marking up the NDAA on Wednesday before it heads to the House floor. There is a chance that either the Denham or Coffman bills could be offered as amendments in committee or before the full House.

Here's the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We understand that an effort may be made to attach a very problematic
amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) when the Armed
Services Committee begins its consideration of this measure next week. The
purported purpose of this amendment would be to allow a small number of illegal
aliens to join the U.S. military and, thereby, obtain a path to citizenship.

As longtime members and leaders of the armed forces, we believe it a serious
mistake to open military service to those known to have violated the laws of the
United States. Whether they have done so by coming to this country illegally and
living here in violation of immigration statutes, either at their own initiative or as a
result of the actions of family members, they have acted in a manner inconsistent
with the oath to support and defend the Constitution that they will be required to
swear upon enlisting. Until now, such conduct has been deemed disqualifying and
we believe it should continue to be so.

It seems clear, moreover, that the purpose of this legislative initiative is
actually to use the "must-pass" NDAA as a vehicle for advancing a far-broader
immigration "reform" agenda. As you know, were your committee's annual bill to
provide a basis for conference action on part -- or even all -- of the Senate's
comprehensive immigration bill, it could enable adoption by the Congress of
measures that would confer amnesty on millions of aliens illegally in this country
and, by failing to secure the borders, ensure that millions more will be headed here
in due course.

We believe that there are compelling national security reasons why it is most
inadvisable to exacerbate further the problems we face from illegal immigration by
offering amnesty while leaving the borders effectively open. We respectfully urge
you and your colleagues on the Armed Services Committee to reject any amendment
that would have such effects, whether directly or indirectly.

Sincerely,

Adm. James A. Lyons,
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief,
U.S. Pacific Fleet

Adm. Jerome L. Johnson,
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Former Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Vice Adm. Albert J. Baciocco,
U.S. Navy (Ret.) Former Director,
Research, Development & Acquisition

Lt. Gen. E.G. “Buck” Shuler, Jr.,
U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
Former Commander,
Eight Air Force, SAC

Maj. Gen. Melvin C. Thrash,
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Former Adjutant General,
Arkansas National Guard

Rear Adm. Robert H. Gormley,
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Studies, Analysis and Gaming Agency

Rear Adm. James M. Gleim,
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Former Director,
Naval Aviation Manpower and Training

Brig. Gen. Darryl H. Powell,
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Former Commanding General,
Madigan Army Medical Center

Brig. Gen. Francis A. Hughes,
U.S. Army (Ret.) Former Asst. Adjunct General,
Military Dept. of Indiana

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin,
U.S. Army (Ret.) Former Deputy Under Secretary of
Defense for Intelligence

Maj. Gen. Carroll D. Childers,
ARNG (Ret.)
Former Commanding General,
VA Army National Guard

Maj. Gen. Charles L. Wilson,
U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
Former Deputy Commander,
Air Force Acquisition Logistics Division

Rear Adm. Robert S. Owens,
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Former Commander,
Carrier Group Two

Brig. Gen. Richard D. Read,
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Former Commander,
Washington Army National Guard

Brig. Gen. William A. Bloomer,
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
Former Commander,
Marine Corps Air Bases Western Area

Rear Adm. Don G. Primeau,
U.S. Navy (Ret.) Former Commander,
Charleston Naval Base

amnesty
military

None 2150 of WY's picture

If this letter doesn't make sense to the illegal activist politician or others, nothing will. This must be stopped.

GlenR 1973 of WV's picture

The way the Pro Amnesty and Open Borders Gangs see it is if Citizens do not want the ILLEGALS to continue their invasion then the ILLEGAL invasion must be the correct policy; no respect for Citizens only respect for the political contributions of the Special Interest Groups.

Gene 5798 of TX's picture

I see fights behind the barracks developing quickly it congress in any form passing this. Why would they cause dissension among the troops purposely? Sensible? Hell no! It would make more sense to provide Congress in-house mental health assistance.

Sandy 5026 of NM's picture

I served for 21 years, I was medically retired in 2007. If this doesn't open some eyes!! I don't know what will!!
So many waivers were granted due to the war, but this... Amnesty for ALL is going way to far. I'm sorry. We have laws for a reason.
Thank you for writing this letter, hopefully it will be used to open eyes of all.

Mike 1111 of CO's picture

Admirals and Generals are correct on this issue.

Amnesty would not even solve the problem; you would just get more Illegals.

So, they just said "NO !"

Mike 1111 of CO's picture

America's Armed Forces Are Not a Dumping Ground for Illegals.

ENLIST is a bad bill; it's that simple.

Just don't do it !

Gary 8370 of OH's picture

The laws which our elected representatives have constructed are the rules we have chosen to live by. A diverse society would not survive long without an absolute commitment to obeying our laws. If the government were to take actions which undermine the respect for our laws, it would mark the beginning of our disintegration. If America were in trouble, there are plenty of patriots to defend her. We do not need mercenaries..

Albert W 7883 of KS's picture

Why is there any question,if i as a citizen
violated any part of the laws of the U.S. of
A., I would be incararated for what ever the law spelled out.
I say no exception regardless, PEROID.

Donald 5610 of CA's picture

we are a nation of laws ,enforce the laws for the citizens of this country NOW.

Debra 4708 of GA's picture

Thank you American Legion, Generals and Admirals, and all that fight this unlawful suggestion. I have faith that you will stop this and prevent it from happening in the future. Anyone that goes against our laws or tries to go against our law should be put Out of office ASAP. They will be attemping to break our United States Laws and should be jailed and prevented from every running for any government job. We do not need people running our government for us that do not follow our laws. We will be reading the list on each one of them, to see what their vote is. Yea or Nay. And it better be Nay. Otherwise they are saying that they have no problem breaking US laws. You see this vote will not be on an opinion of something, it will be a vote 'FOR' or 'AGAINST' our US laws. Again, thank you so much for fighting against this unlawful act against us. I am a Vietnam Vet-US Army- Larry G. Barker

Robert 2957 of ID's picture

Thanks to the 16 military men who are still willing to put their all on the line to support and defend the Constitution!

Our military is rapidly evolving into an arm of the United Nations Peace Forces and adding the illegals will simply be another step in that direction.

It's time we defend our own border. Bring our troops home!

GlenR 1973 of WV's picture

That would make too much sense. Our politicians will continue to send our young men and women around the world in an attempt to protect the borders of other nations for the International Corporations but refuse to defend the borders of the United States for our Citizens against the invasion of the ILLEGALS. Hit the nail on the head about the United Nations; the U.N. out of the United States and the United States out of the U.N.

Donald 2269 of TN's picture

How would illegals be allowed to join the military when the rules say that they must have a green card, speak and understand English and pass a number of other physical & mental tests? Are they all going to start the process by receiving green cards? This is a can of worms that should never be opened.

Van 0864 of VA's picture

Well, the rules would have to change if the law passed but you're right about the can of worms. The green card comes after service

Wanda 5457 of TX's picture

I am so angry about this nonsense. As a Mother I taught my children that honesty and integrity was the only way to live. Now, this, from people that we voted to uphold our laws. It is like all the things I ever said to my children is and has been a lie. Is it really the right thing to do -- to give some one something because they broke the law? Do we reward for breaking the laws of our nation? Since when? And what do I tell my grandchildren - that it is all right to break the law, do the wrong thing, it's OK because you will be rewarded for this? Thank God we have our military and their high regard for our nation but I say absolutely "NO" to this immigration bill in any form. What in the world has become of our Congress to act in the manner they are now? The United States is headed for big trouble if we allow Congress to give the illegals all this nation has to offer while our young people watch and learn how to succeed in life is by lying and cheating. Shame! And it is Mother's day. All that I have taught my children is for nothing.