For Immediate Release
July 25, 2017
Media Contact: Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4463
ICYMI: To Fix Our Immigration System, Start By Rewarding The Greatest Act Of Patriotism
(Washington D.C.) – Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, joined Congressman Jeff Denham (R-CA) to pen an op-ed on Investor Business Daily addressing an unfortunate flaw in our immigration system that is impacting American veterans. Below are excerpts of the piece:
The United States has a long history of immigrants serving in the armed forces. As far back as 1840, almost half of all Army enlistees were immigrants. Between 1862 and 2000, 660,000 military veterans would go on to become citizens through our naturalization process.
Oscar Juarez-Luna was born in Mexico but has been living in the United States since he was a young child. Knowing no other country than this one, Oscar knew that he wanted to serve in the military because, in his words, «(I) love this country and want to defend its freedoms…for my community and my family.»
But upon trying to serve, Oscar was turned away. The reason? Oscar is an undocumented immigrant, brought here as a child but without a way to earn legal status.
During a time of hyperpartisanship, a broad overhaul of our immigration laws may seem far off. There is skepticism from the American people as they look at a government they believe has not done a good job of securing our border and enforcing existing immigration laws.
But difficulty alone should not preclude us from acting, and in fact, this time of transition may present a real opportunity to move forward with real reform.
Just take a look at the significant bipartisan support behind H.R. 60, the ENLIST Act. The ENLIST Act – which allows DREAMers like Oscar to serve in the military while providing a pathway to legal status upon successfully fulfilling the terms of enlistment – has more than 200 bipartisan co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congress has the responsibility to act where possible to address inequities for brave young men and women in Oscar’s situation. With efforts like this, it’s possible to earn the trust of the American people to make positive changes to our immigration laws.
This bill is not a cure-all for what ails our immigration system, but it’s a start. We owe it to the young men and women who love this country and want to serve it to come together and find creative solutions that honor both the rule of law and our immigrant heritage.
Read the full op-ed online here
For interviews with a representative of The LIBRE Initiative, please contact: Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4463