Earning U.S. Citizenship Through Military Service

One of the DREAM Act provisions that has been proposed is to allow illegal aliens to enter the armed services and gain U.S. citizenship on the basis of two years of service.

That proposal makes little sense in current circumstances in which we have an all volunteer armed service, and there is no need to induct reluctant recruits into service. The recruitment needs of the services are being fully met by volunteers. Defense Department officials have affirmed that fact.

It especially does not make sense in the context of recent and possible future force draw downs. “The U.S. army already began to shrink last year, downsizing toward 490,000 from 570,000.” Furthermore, “General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said about a third of the [sequestration]cuts would have to come from the armed forces, …”

Do we want opportunities for U.S. citizens and legal residents to be reduced by creating a path for illegal aliens to enlist in the military?

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar
    john winthrop on

    That is interesting it id thr same in our universities….I guess that Is his we have been from the beginning…..

  2. avatar
    John WInthrop on

    IT appears FAIR to me if the individual spent all his/her life here and gave part of his/her limbs to protect this country or for that matter risked their lives…….

  3. avatar
    Joe in SoCal on

    We actively recruit countless foreign people, noncitizens, into our military annually. Several years back, I went on a liberty port visit to Manila, Philippines. I personally saw the U.S. Navy recruitment office in Manilla. Unbelieveable. I was involved in drills for years where I couldn’t understand a higher ranking official shouting orders to me, because he/she did not speak English as a primary language. What if that had been an actual emergency?

    Mass immigration harms all aspects of American life.

    ***I am clarifying here that this is not a criticism of the United States military or its policy objectives. I am simply stating opinions as a private citizen, representing my own views and myself, solely.

  4. avatar

    Hell no, especially since their loyalty may be with another nation, thanks to the stupidity of our government for allowing dual citizenship!

  5. avatar

    While their are some members of the Senate and House who advocate for illegal aliens to join our military to be put on a path to U.S. citizenship, these people should read the requirements for joining our military before the push for something they evidently know nothing about.

    Congress and the courts have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures all individuals are treated equally before the law with respect to civilian employment, does not apply to the military profession. No less than seven major Supreme Court decisions support this.

    As such, the military doesn’t accept just anyone who wants to join. You must be qualified, under current federal laws and regulations and/or you must receive an approved waiver for the condition which may make you disqualified. So, what are the general qualifications to enlist in the military?

    In order to join the US Military, you must either be a US citizen, or you must be a legal permanent immigrant, physically living in the United States, with a green card. The US military cannot and will not assist with the immigration process. If you are not a US citizen, you must legally and permanently immigrate to the United States first, via the regular immigration procedures and quotas, establish a residence, and then (if you meet the other qualifying criteria), visit a military recruiter’s office and apply for enlistment.

    For enlistment purposes, citizens of the United States include citizens of: Guam, Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands,The Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa, The Federated States of Micronesia, and The Republic of the Marshall Islands.

    Not all legal immigrants may be eligible to enlist. Applicants who have been residents of countries considered hostile to the interests of the United States require a waiver. See your local recruiter for the most current list of countries considered hostile to the interests of the United States.

  6. avatar

    It was frequently said of those opposed to immigration in the mid 1800s that they were “know nothings”. Whether that was or wasn’t an accurate description, it is crystal clear now that the know-nothings are the ones who support a continuation or expansion of our present immigration policies.

    Simply stated, in the days when the “give me your poor” poem was placed on the Statue of Liberty and which so many get all misty eyed over, it was an entirely different society. Most of those people took a perilous weeks long journey across the ocean, and were likely to never see family members again. They came here and it was sink or swim. No walking into a hospital to have a baby at taxpayer expense, no free medical care for the children of the family, no free school lunches, no food stamps for your family, no earned income tax credit that can give you a check of five thousand dollars, no section 8 housing. And they do get those benefits in spite of being supposedly ineligible.

    In short, those people back then got none of the entitlements that so many immigrants now, legal and illegal, seem to regard as their right. The people a hundred and more years ago WERE an asset, because they took a chance on coming here with no assurance of anything other than enough hard work might allow you to succeed. [And some returned home.]

    Contrast that to now, when 60% of immigrants enter on nothing more than “family reunification” and no skills needed. And even when family members declare they will sponsor and support them, those promises frequently go by the wayside. We are importing the poverty of other countries and declaring it’s a plus. Just look at the state with the most immigrants by both numbers and percentage, California, and it’s an economic basket case, continually in a budget crisis and among the very highest unemployment in the country for many years.

    • avatar

      You’re Right Leland

      The open border cult doesn’t look at costs, environment, math, logic, etc, etc….

      They just brainlessly want their way and lie that We the People support their destruction of America through more overpopulation.

      They remind me of hard drug users and will do anything or say anything for another fix.