The Pentagon (Finally) Displays Some Pragmatism

Urgency has a strange way of making people more pragmatic.  In the context of a crisis, outdated prejudices become stumbling blocks and, consequently, not so deeply held.  It's surprising, then, that it took the Pentagon so long to realize that, at a time when our military is stretched thin in two combat wars, turning applicants away from the armed forces due to immigration status was not a workable solution.

An article in this past Sunday’s New York Times discusses an Army pilot program which will allow immigrants with temporary resident status, but no green card, to enlist, provided that they have lived in the United States for at least two years and bring needed skills.  Enlistees will then have the opportunity to become citizens in as little as six months.

Opinions of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aside, this move can easily be seen as recognition by the Department of Defense that excluding any group of individuals from full participation in our nation’s rights and responsibilities weakens us all.   As Lieutenant General Benjamin C. Freakley, the top recruitment officer for the Army, said, “The Army will gain in its strength in human capital, and the immigrants will gain their citizenship and get on a ramp to the American dream.”Opinions of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aside, this move can easily be seen as recognition by the Department of Defense that excluding any group of individuals from full participation in our nation's rights and responsibilities weakens us all.   As Lieutenant General Benjamin C. Freakley, the top recruitment officer for the Army, said, "The Army will gain in its strength in human capital, and the immigrants will gain their citizenship and get on a ramp to the American dream."

The Department of Defense has now joined the ever-growing list of employers who understand that integrating immigrants into our social, civic and economic life is the only way to remain competitive and uphold our commitment to economic mobility.  Now if only we could find a way to give every employer the ability to grant citizenship.

Tags: community, immigration, Opportunity (all tags)

Comments

1 Comment

I'll believe they are pragmatic

When they stop discharging gay service personel that have skills we need.

What is the number of gay folks they have discharged that speak Farsi or Arabic?

Let me clue them, ONE is too many!

Don't ask Don't tell is one of the most expensive idiot ideas the Religious nuts ever rammed down our throats....

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-17 08:14AM | 0 recs

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