As the debate about the DREAMers and those covered by DACA continues to heat up, a small segment of such people are stuck in a strange limbo, ripe for being used as a political frisbee. What is the federal government to do about DREAMers who honorably served in the military, are honorably serving in the military, or are part of a delayed-entry program to serve in the military?
Well, James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, Chaos Actual, Mad Dog, first of his line and blessed among Marines, has the answer. With his usual tact and genius, has decided to stand by his soldiers, and to go to bat for people who EARNED their place in America in sweat, blood, and tears.
This call was simply meant to confirm what they had discussed before concerning the status of DREAMers who have served their country, and it accomplished that purpose handily.
Kirstjen Nielsen signaled to Mattis that she is committed, and the Department of Homeland Security is committed, to protect military DREAMers.
In the call, it was stated that all active-duty servicemen, all delayed-entry servicemen (those who are preparing to report to BCT, but who may not have done so yet), anyone in the active reserves, and anyone with an honorable discharge will be, according to Mattis, protected from deportation.
According to Mattis, there are only two exceptions to these conditions.
The first exception is if they have committed a ‘serious’ felony. Though Mattis did not go into precise details as to what is and is not a ‘serious’ felony, it is likely that serious felonies would consist of felonies concerning violence and other conduct that is mala in se, rather than mala prohibtum.
The other exception would be anyone for whom there is already a signed judicial order from a federal judge. If the federal judge has signed a final order of deportation, there’s not much that can be done.
Mattis himself pointed out that if such an order is signed, that would “be an order that obviously we obey.”
This is Mattis doing PRECISELY what a good leader, should do. He’s standing up for his men, making sure that they know where they stand.
In this case, Mattis performed beautifully, ensuring that those who serve in his military, and those who have served in that military with honor, are protected.
According to Mattis, he has been on various troop visits where concerned troops who were covered under DACA have asked what the future might hold for them. Some of these troops were deployed, while others were stateside.
Mattis worked with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure it was clarified that DACA service members would not be in jeopardy of deportation or other negative action.
There are people who came to this country as children with families that did nothing for the nation. Thanks to the laws in some states, some illegal immigrants may have even accessed government welfare programs.
However, such people should not be lumped in with combat veterans, people who joined the military and gave up their time, their hard work, and even their lives.
According to Mattis, somewhere around 900 such people are currently in the United States military. There are also hundreds, at least, who have served previously and have since honorably retired or separated from the United States military.
In the last decade, American servicemen and women have been called on to serve the United States with great frequency.
Anyone who enlisted in the military post-9/11 knew that they joined into an organization that has been constantly at war.
What many do not know is that there are multiple deployments outside of the middle east. There have been deployments to Africa, for example, where U.S. Army Special Forces were ambushed by terrorists recently.
There are also multiple deployments to the nations near the Russian border, out of fear that the Russian government and Putin may not be satisfied simply by seizing the Crimea.
For all the work that these brave men and women have done for this country and for its interests around the world, they deserve to be made full American citizens.
While the position of the other DREAMers may be in question, it is good to see that Mattis and the DHS came together to protect those who have truly earned their place, and have earned, more than any other, the right to call themselves Americans.
Mattis, through his efforts, has vouchsafed the future of his troops.