Clinton backs military service for illegal immigrants

Clinton backs military service for illegal immigrants
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference Comey in op-ed after IG report: 'Barr needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson' Trump tops list of most tweeted about politicians in 2019 MORE is backing a push to allow certain illegal immigrants to serve in the U.S. military, as lawmakers begin debate on its annual defe

The announcement from Clinton's presidential campaign came Thursday, as lawmakers began debate on a defense policy bill containing a provision that would encourage the defense secretary to allow illegal immigrants to serve in the military in exchange for a fast-track to citizenship. The language also calls for a study of the impacts of allowing the "DREAMers" — a term used to describe illegal immigrants brough ti the U.S. as children — 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," said Hillary for America National Political Director Amanda Renteria. 

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"While we keep up the pressure for comprehensive action, allowing DREAMers to serve in the military is the right step forward," Renteria added. 

The 2016 Democratic presidential contender has embraced a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, thrilling immigration activists and Democrats who believe it could help solidify support among Hispanics. 

The immigration provision has sparked one of the fiercest fights in the House so far of the defense bill, which would authorize Pentagon funding and activities. 

A group of Republicans, led by Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksTrump takes pulse of GOP on Alabama Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP Jeff Sessions calling Alabama lawmakers about 2020 Senate bid MORE (R-Ala.), has proposed an amendment that would strip the provision from the bill. 

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Texas) successfully added the provision by amendment to the House Armed Services Committee's mark last month. Six Republicans on the panel supported the amendment. 

Republican Reps. Mike Coffman (Colo.) and Jeff Denham (Calif.) are whipping votes against  Brooks' amendment. 

The House began considering amendments to the bill on Thursday, and is expected to vote on the amendment sometime in the evening. The House is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.