News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 23, 2014: Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke, has slammed Republican leaders in the House of Representatives for refusing to allow a motion to a vote on a proposal that would have allowed Americans without legal status who have served in the armed forces to become legal permanent residents of the United States.
The proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which has support from both Democrats and Republicans, would have allowed young men and women who had entered the United States as children to apply for legal status in the United States on the completion of their military service.
The Rules Committee voted this week against allowing votes on a measure offering citizenship to immigrants here undocumented who serve in the military. The panel also rejected legislation that would have opened the U.S. military academies to young immigrants brought to the country illegally.
“I am deeply disappointed that we have not been allowed to honor their sacrifices on our behalf. Congress should at least have an opportunity to consider this issue,” said the congressman Thursday. “ I urge my colleagues to insist on the inclusion of this bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act in the conference committee.”
“When these men and women were on in Iraq or Afghanistan in the field of battle, or defending our coastline, or providing relief services to the victims of a natural disaster, we did not ask ‘Are you really an American?’ The question would have been absurd. The question remain absurd. These men and women are certainly Americans. They are Americans who have lived here since their childhood and who have served in the armed forces to defend the freedoms we share,” added Congresswoman Clarke, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies.