Illegal aliens brought to the United States as children could become legal residents if they join the military, under a plan being considered by House Republicans.
Rep. Buck McKeon of California said he might add the provision to a first draft of the National Defense Authorization Act, a military bill that goes through Congress every year.
According to the Wall Street Journal
, McKeon, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has heard from critics and supporters of the idea.
One House member against the suggestion is Alabama Republican Mo Brooks, a member of McKeon's Armed Services panel.
"There is always a risk when you rely on foreigners for your national security … the risk is misplaced loyalty," he told the Wall Street Journal. "It really comes down to who you prefer — American citizens or illegal aliens? And I prefer American citizens."
The idea was proposed last summer but was shot down in the face of criticism.
There are nearly 12 million illegal immigrants estimated to be living in the United States, and lawmakers are at a standstill with what to do with them. Reports say that the Obama administration deported just one percent
of the undocumented people in the country last year.
Another report claims that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement released 68,000 immigrants
with criminal records in 2013.
Vice President Joe Biden said last week the illegal immigrants living in this country are "already Americans."
"You know, 11 million people live in the shadows. I believe they're already American citizens," Biden said at a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gathering. "These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to contribute fully. And by that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans, in my view."
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