Bipartisan bill would allow young immigrants to attend military academies

Reps. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) have introduced a bill to allow young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to be nominated to U.S. military academies.

Military academies currently accept international students from certain countries, but not young people who are in the U.S. illegally who have attended school in the country or served in the U.S. military, also known as DREAMERs.

ADVERTISEMENT
"We can’t ignore that there are children in our schools and neighborhoods who have grown up with that same guiding principle, but because they were brought to this country without documentation, are now stuck in limbo with a lot of potential, but an empty promise," Castro said.

Castro said it would open more opportunities to young immigrants who have considered the U.S. as home throughout their lives.

"Though this is a small change to the to the eligibility requirement, it will make a huge difference in the lives of students like Omar, a San Antonio high school student who has been preparing through JROTC to apply to West Point, but whose status got in the way," Castro said.

Ros-Lehtinen, an immigration reform supporter who represents a Miami district with a high Hispanic population, said the measure was a simple change for young immigrants.

"They only want a chance [to] serve our country," Ros-Lehtinen said

More in House

Dem on GOP's immigration demands: 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie'

Read more »