The American military has launched a pilot program to recruit skilled, so-called temporary immigrants who have been in the country at least two years. Recruiters anticipate that the new recruits will have more education and language skills than most Americans who enlist. In return for their service, the military will speed up the process for them to receive U.S. citizenship — some recruits will be able to become U.S. citizens in as little as six months.

There are two sides to this coin of news: one good, and one depressing. The good news is that it may help both the Army and temporary immigrants. The policy could help the Army get access to desperately needed specialists, and it could also help temporary immigrants circumvent our nation's broken immigration system. The sight of temporary immigrants pitching in to help this country could also help soothe some of the many bruises that this country is sporting from the devastating immigration battles of the past several years.

That last part is important, for many have already greeted this news with angry shouts and loud jeers. We have little doubt that the temporary immigrants who are hired to fill shortages in medical care, field intelligence and language translation will execute their jobs with honor, and that they will make this country proud to accept them as citizens ...

[W]e would certainly trust new immigrants to protect our country before we trusted the other group that recruiters have turned to in an effort to fill the ranks: convicted felons.

Now to the flip side of the coin. The reason why the news of this program is depressing is because it proves how badly America has been educating its own citizens. How sad is it that so few Americans speak Arabic? How pitiful are we as a nation to not have enough medical technicians and intelligence operatives to protect us? These are skills that enough Americans could have learned if they had an accessible and functioning educational system in which to learn them. Instead, we have to look outward, searching for people who may have learned what is necessary to keep us safe. It may be a boon for these new immigrants, but it's an indictment of Americans.