Foster to DHS: No amnesty for illegals

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Foster to DHS: No amnesty for illegals
Undocumented aliens wait to be processed by U.S. Border Patrol Agents in Yuma, Ariz. U.S. Air Force photo

The American Legion adamantly opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, and National Commander Jimmie L. Foster is deeply concerned about reports suggesting the Department of Homeland Security is considering a leniency policy that would forgive foreign law-breakers on a "case-by-case basis."

"Not only does this constitute an amnesty not authorized by the U.S. Congress, but it represents a horrible misuse of government assets," Foster said. "Reports suggest ‘prosecutorial discretion' for certain violators, meaning the law won't be applied evenly, if at all. That does neither the illegal immigrant nor our nation any good."

The American Legion has repeatedly spoken out against any amnesties for illegal aliens. Across the country, dozens of American Legion posts conduct citizenship and naturalization programs for legal immigrants. But for those who enter the nation illegally, tap into public services funded by U.S. taxpayers and provide under-the-table labor, the Legion opposes amnesty, no matter what it is called. "Legalization, regularization, guest-worker program, earned-status adjustment - these are all just euphemisms for amnesty," Foster said.A recent New York Times article stated that "Cecilia Muñoz, a White House official who helped develop the new policy, said officials would suspend deportation proceedings in low-priority cases that, for example, involve ‘military veterans and the spouses of active-duty military personnel.'"

Anyone who joins the U.S. Armed Forces must already be in the United States legally. Section 328 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act specifically allows for naturalization of all foreign-born active-duty personnel, and those who are honorably discharged after service of at least one year.

Ceremonies are often conducted to recognize military service as a route to legal U.S. citizenship. One such naturalization ceremony took place last Presidents Day in Baghdad when 53 foreign-born soldiers became U.S. citizens.

Foster questioned the fiscal thinking of case-by-case handling of illegal immigration claims. "Where are we getting the resources for all this protection of illegal immigrants?" he asked. "If there is sufficient government funding currently allocated for a case-by-case analysis of those here illegally, it stands to reason some of those funds could be shifted to address the backlog of veterans claims which has been called a top priority of the past two administrations.

 "At a time when there are 842,687 claims pending before VA, 502,599 of which have been pending over four months, why would we dedicate federal resources to analyze the claims of people who are here illegally? Shouldn't our men and women who risked their lives in defense of this country have priority over those who openly flouted our immigration laws?

"Any such amnesty policy would send a clear message that the interests of law-breakers take precedent over those of our servicemembers," said Foster. "Like many Americans, our veterans need jobs, health care, and other benefits they earned and deserve by serving our nation in uniform, often during times of war.

"I am astonished," Foster said, "that the individual interests of illegal immigrants would ever move ahead of veterans, military personnel and their families when it comes to case-by-case analysis."

 

 

 

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Tushar Ghosh

July 14, 2012 - 4:49pm

It is terrible to appoint a non cityzen person to armed force. This is a perfect decision. It should be confirmed whether the person is cityzen or not.

pedrorico

September 6, 2011 - 1:13pm

My family have served in the military for four generations since WWI, I enlisted after 9-11 to defend our country from a foreign enemy. At that time I was working in Mexico as a College Teacher. I was born in Mexico I served in the mexican army and I'm proud to served in the two countries. Using illegal immigration as a reason to blame the goverment for there missused resources? my grandphather was in WWII against the germans, and the nazis use the same tactics. Blame some one else for our unfixed problems. Im sorry to say but the only way to stop illegal immigration is by having a Berlin wall, with bunkers and mine fields. Yes the system is broken, so who is really to blame? the millions of illegal allready in this country are not going anywhere, by legallyzing this people we could have a better background of who they are and where they live, and yes it would cost a lot to them. I work right now as a police officer and I know that something need to be done with our borders. shame!!!

Michael Robinson

September 4, 2011 - 7:23pm

Failure to enforce the law is a recipe for the law to be ignored and that is exactly what has happened regarding illegal immigration. While the American Legion should focus primarily on veterans issues, illegal immigration (and even some forms of legal immigration) do affect veterans. Its called jobs. Illegal immigration is a national security problem beyond a reasonable doubt. The next major terrorist attack will not be in the same format as we saw during 9/11. If the United States cannot secure its borders it will fail to be a sovereign nation. If the government cannot or will not control our borders and points of entry, then it is failing to enforce the Constitution. The first duty of government is to protect its citizens. Finally illegal aliens cannot join the U.S. military legally. It is always possible to use illegal documentation & that is why an FBI security check is required of enlistees, and the check is more thorough the higher the security clearance.

fstop

August 31, 2011 - 9:51pm

When I joined the Legion there were 3 million members. Last year there were 2.4 million. How many members have you caused this organization with your xenophobic ideas Foster? Shame on you. Go back to Alaska with your sister Sarah.

adelacerda

August 25, 2011 - 2:32pm

The American Legion should be focused on assisting active duty and retired servicemen and women to get faster service on VA claims, get preferrential treatment for obtaining employment in government and civilian jobs, get proper medical care instead of making illegal immigration their priority. This reeks of animosity and disdain for people of other cultures. In this melting pot which is our nation, people of different nationalities and cultures have demonstrated their loyalty and patriotism to the U.S.of A. since the American Civil War. There is a disproportionate number of MOH winners of Hispanic descent in WW2. In Vietnam and Iraq and AFghanistan, Hispanics are well represented in the ranks of any combat unit. I mention the dedicated service of Hispanics in this case although personnel of many different races and cultures and backgrounds have all served and are serving proudly and patriotically. Mexicans are not the only illegals in the U.S. Illegals come from all over the world.

ECHEVARRIA

August 23, 2011 - 5:13pm

I may be dumb, but what does illegal immigration has to do with the American Legion???? I was under the impression that this was a veterans organization. Has that changed? or that was the personal view of the national chairman? service members are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, dod is trying to take away our retirement benefits, they are trying to change our active duty retirement pay; the VA does not want to allow us to use the word "god" in our final prayers at the VA cemeteries; and a crazy group of people are bothering the funerals of our soldiers under the pretext of freedom of speech; and here we are wasting our time with illegal immigration!!!!! Let's take care of our veterans!! Let Sarah Paulin take care of the illegal immigrants!!!

ebruner

August 26, 2011 - 2:02am

If you would have read the article, it explains why the Legion is concerned about this issue--the government is using limited resources to determine whether an illegal immigrant (same as unlawful trespasser) would not only be excused for their crime but would be allowed to use other limited resources to establish themselves here while almost a million claims by veterans have to wait because they also need many or most of the same limited resources. The issue is that it appears that helping criminals is more important than helping veterans.

jparias1965

August 23, 2011 - 10:09am

I must disagree with Commander Foster. Illegal Mexicans aren't a threat to our Nation. There have been illegal Mexicans serving our Country for generations. Many have distinguished themselves in combat. There's two particular Illegal Mexicans. One chose to serve after his Dad told him he wasn't an American. He rushed a machine gun bunker and lost his feet in the process, but continued firing until his squad could flank the bunker. He was awarded the MOH as an American and Mexico awarded the Order of Military Merit (equivalent) to MOH. PFC Silvestre S. Herrera. Then there's SSGT Marcario Garcia who became an American Citizen after being awarded the MOH. Racism in Houston denied him service at a restaurant afterwards. What would these two Mexican Nationals MOH Recipients say about the Legion's hatred of Mexcians? Let's not bend the Separation of Powers Clause by using terror to pass laws or forcing prosecutors to perform their duties. Let's focus on Veteran Issues.

militaryraising

August 22, 2011 - 4:50am

With all due respect for your opinion,there are reasons why we should deport some illegal immigrants who've gained their citizenship by serving in our military.Hispanic gangs have been found to be serving in our military,posting gang graffiti on the machinery,and swearing to uphold the laws while breaking them. Example:There was a marine who returned from Iraq to the US who was a member of a gang.While on leave and under investigation by the marines for gang activities,the NCO took it upon himself to square off with a police officer and used PTSD as an excuse for his crime.Unfortunately,he was killed while trying to run from the officer in Modesto,Calif.Ther are many illegal immigrants for which a reward for being in the US is to marry a military member.Jose Padilla was a conspirator from Mexico with dual citizenship in Mexico.It's believed that terrorists from other countries disguise themselves as Mexicans because they look hispanic. Deport them if they break their codes.

TonyC51

August 25, 2011 - 4:35pm

If they are crooks, and illegal aliens, deport them. That goes with out saying. Nowhere in the article was it discussing any illegal activities except being an illegal alien. Anyone who thinks that terrorists disguise themselves as Mexicans is severely misled. They disguise themselves as Canadians! -------------- Revision: How did I miss this> "there are reasons why we should deport some illegal immigrants who've gained their citizenship by serving in our military." IMHO: If they have earned their US citizenship by serving honorably in Armed Forces of the United States, which is far more than some people who are born here do, they should have a fair trial and any punishment except deportation.

johnnygo

August 21, 2011 - 9:25pm

Commander Foster, I agree that our nation should enforce our illegal immigrant problem. My concerns are that The American Legion, under your leadership has lapsed it's efforts to protect ALL Veterans and Active Duty Personnel by using the National Executive Committee (NEC) as a bully pulpit to knock-down anyone you or the conservative leadership deem as a threat to your powerbase. You know, the whole let's mess with 65,000 Gay Active Duty Members and the over 1 Million Honorably discharged Gay Veterans by insisting that The American Legion apposes that form of lifestyle (you know, like it is an immoral choice). Now we attack the immigrants. Many are illegal and they need to be dealt with, but you are yielding the 2.5 Million membership arm of The American Legion at a group, like the Gays & Lesbians who are easy to hate and yet our country was founded by illegal immigrants the King of England came after to kill. So who is next Mr. Foster?

militaryraising

August 22, 2011 - 5:08am

What does your post have to do with illegal immigration? Jose Padilla was part of 09/11/01,although he wasn't part of our military.He was Arab/Mexican with dual citizenship in the United States.His family were muslims.What about Nadal Hussein who shot and killed 13 members of the US Army? He may have been an "American" but his influences were stirred by Islam,again a radical in our midst.I've debated this subject for 10 years and there's a lot of information out there that would discourage many Americans from believing we're protecting our borders.An almost promoted to General in the CBP was found to be an illegal immigrant.So was a Navy veteran who committed ID theft.I can't say I regret they were found.UCMJ runs the same as our civil laws.Deserting the cause to uphold an illegal activity should be reason enough to deport them.What happened to their oath of fidelity and honor to the United States?They're called "yellow bellies" for a reason.

militaryraising

August 21, 2011 - 2:23am

As I understand it,all enlistees and officers take an oath to be honest.My entire family is retired Air Force,both NCO's and Officers.I'm mortified that our military are accepting illegal aliens into our forces.When I think of what might happen as a result of exposing them to secrets that shouldn't be shared with anyone but Americans who understand how we work,I can only see an opportunity for "terrorists" who would be trained BY us.We should stop the enlistment policies of allowing aliens with dual citizenship and naturalized citizens the right to serve in our military today.Deport them if they break their codes.

TonyC51

August 21, 2011 - 3:06pm

"Officials would suspend deportation proceedings in low-priority cases that, for example, involve ‘military veterans and the spouses of active-duty military personnel. I will have to disagree with commander Foster on this. The photograph in the article pictures hispanics, and yet, the majority of the Sep 11 terrorists came into the USA legally through Canada, and correct me if I am wrong but none of them came here from Mexico, and none of the were illegal aliens. I believe that deporting illegals who are not US veterans should be a priority over deporting US Veterans. I believe that deporting illegals who are married to active duty US Military should be a lower priority than deporting other illegals. I also believe that employers who hire illegal aliens should have the hiring manager, CEO and Board receive a mandatory year in prison, and pay the court costs, holding costs, and deportation costs of the illegal.

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