The Green Card Draft: One Immigrant’s Nightmare is Uncle Sam’s DREAM

Date Put forth on June 22, 2007 by XicanoPwr
Category Posted in Dream Act, Green Card Draft, Immigration, Immigration Debate, Military Draft, News/Noticias, Política Estados Unidos, Raza, War


When it comes to immigration reform, one of the biggest fear many have is that Congress might pass some type of domestic policy that is intended to hurt not only the best interest of the nation, but the interest of an immigrant – legal and undocumented – who are trying to navigate through this country. Members of Congress have proposed heightened border security, increased enforcement of immigration laws, and even the criminalization of undocumented immigrants and those who help them.

Widely discussed throughout the media and the blogs is how the current immigration reform bill being debated in the Senate would create a permanent underclass of indentured slave labor by allowing multinational corporations and independent contractors to hire thousands of “guest” workers a year outside the US. However, what is not often discussed or reported is how one of the provisions tucked inside the bill would also benefit the military.

This provision is called the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act or DREAM Act, which would legitimize in-state tuition programs and “provide a pathway to obtain permanent residency” to immigrant children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents as children. In other words, the DREAM Act would allow undocumented immigrant to qualify for in-state tuition and automatically qualify them for state-funded student financial aid. As things stand, many undocumented students have not benefited from the financial aid aspect, because students are required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application to be considered. However, FAFSA is a federal form and undocumented students are not eligible to receive federal student aid.

A couple of days ago, Kyle from Immigration Orange informed of an of an article that was written in the Boston Globe. Bryan Bender reports how the military will benefit from this provision.

While the DREAM Act may facilitate access to college for a small percentage of these undocumented students, in many cases other factors will militate against the college option. This is where the military comes in, tucked away in the current immigration bill is a provision that will help boost military recruiting.

A little-noticed provision in the proposed immigration bill would grant instant legal status and ultimately full citizenship to illegal immigrants if they enlist in the US military, an idea the Pentagon and military analysts say would boost the Pentagon’s flagging efforts to find and recruit qualified soldiers.

The reality is that military recruitment is down significantly and there are reports that the Pentagon is wanting to impose a “limited military draft” in order to maintain “its present force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan” according to The First Post. If the bill were to become law, the provision is expected to improve military recruitment numbers by allowing undocumented immigrants to enlist as a means to obtain citizenship. It is evident that current recruitment programs are ineffective. Recently the Department of Defense announced that the recruitment goals fell short in May and this probably would explain why the military urgently wants to have Congress pass the current immigration reform bill or just the DREAM Act portion of the bill. The Army fell short in May by 7%, short of its goal of 5,500, while the Army National Guard fell 12% short of its goal and the Air National Guard was well below its target by 23%.

When the immigration bill failed to go through Congress earlier this month, Bill Carr, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, told a veterans’ group that he would like to see Congress fast track the DREAM Act so the military could start recruiting undocumented immigrants right away.

“In other words, if you had come across (the border) with your parents, yet you were a minor child and have been in the U.S. school system for a number of years, then you could be eligible to enlist,” he said. “And at the end of that enlistment, then you would be eligible to become a citizen.”

Currently, between 40,000 and 47,000 non-citizens are serving in the military. According to Emilio Gonzalez, director of the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, about 40,000 non-citizens are already serving in the military. Another source, Defense Manpower Data Center, reports there are 35,000 non-citizens are currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces, with another 12,000 serving in the Guard and reserves.

Only legal residents and green card holders were qualified to serve because the executive order President Bush signed 2002 only applied to them. If the current bill were to pass, the Defense Department is hoping to see a major boost because the expansion of the recruiting pool would now include at least 750,000 youths of military age that could immediately enter the path to citizenship in exchange for at least two years of service in the armed forces.

However, not everybody can qualify. According to the Globe, only high school graduates who are “honor roll students, star athletes, talented artists, aspiring teachers, and doctors” would qualify for military service. The Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, told the Globe only some of them – roughly 280,000 illegal immigrants between 18 and 24 – would qualify for the program. However, this is not true. The Globe most likely cited a summary of a previous bill because neither of the current bills that have been introduced in the Senate Bill 774 (as the “DREAM Act”), H.R.1275 (as the “American Dream Act”), the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348) or S. 1639 say anything about making such exclusions.

Why would the Globe and Deputy Undersecretary Carr state a provision that is not there or cannot be found in any of those three bills? One does have to wonder why they would make such a statement, could it be so that the nativists will not be claiming this to be another example of another amnesty program.

I previously wrote that Council on Foreign Relations neo-conservative senior fellow Max Boot had proposed that the military enlist and actively recruit foreigners from other countries.

The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones and, as important, to untold numbers of young men and women who are not here now but would like to come. No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period in return for one of the world’s most precious commodities – U.S. citizenship. Open up recruiting stations from Budapest to Bangkok, Cape Town to Cairo, Montreal to Mexico City. Some might deride those who sign up as mercenaries, but these troops would have significantly different motives than the usual soldier of fortune. (Emphases mine)

The truth is the US is running out of troops because the war in Iraq has tied down roughly 150,000 US troops continuously for almost four years. Now that the Bush is sending another 30,000 troops to Iraq this only makes the troop shortage worse. Recruitment is so bad, it was reported that the Army sent its recruiters to Panama City, FL during Spring Break hoping to entice some young drunk white co-ed into signing their life away to the Army.

Given the difficulty, undocumented youth have in affording college tuition, the pressure on them to make financial contributions to extended families, and the tendency to adopt uncritical forms of patriotism based on “gratitude,” military recruiters will be the ones who benefit the most. As I stated before, the US Military has a long history of targeting people who happen to come from working class families and areas with a large number of minorities, both urban and rural – otherwise known as a “poverty draft.” Many people assume that joining the military is a way out of poverty. Some veterans do say that their experience in the military or the college benefits that they were able to get, was helpful to them. However, the reality for most veterans is far different. According to the Army Times, reports that over 50,000 unemployed veterans are on the waiting list for the military’s “retraining” program. The Veterans’ Administration estimates that 1/3 of homeless people are vets.

The Pentagon has already spent millions to gather information on how to target recruit Latinos into the military. Each year, employees from JAMRS – the “official Department of Defense program for joint marketing communications and market research and studies” – gathered for their annual direct-marketing conference. JAMRS claims the role of the marketing communications programs is to “help broaden people’s understanding of Military Service as a career option.” However, it also engages in all sorts of not-for-public-consumption studies that are meant to “help bolster the effectiveness of all the Services’ recruiting and retention efforts.” In 2005, in their annual conference, paid New York marketing consultant Michael Saray made a presentation – “Marketing to Hispanics” – to JAMRS on how the Latino community is “wired” differently and how Hispanics tend to be “emotional” and “right-brained.”

According to Jorge Mariscal, Saray’s presentation indicated that Hispanics are supposedly “emotional, intuitive, creative, Big Picture, and visionary.”

Simply put, JAMRS trainees were taught “the Spanish language has not favored intellect over emotion. It’s [sic] bias or thought process has not favored the left brain over the right brain. This is a real cultural difference.” Therefore, the Saray group’s advice to Pentagon ad men devising Hispanic campaigns for military recruitment is to “avoid blatant overuse of numbers. You want to reach the heart, not the left brain.” To sum up, “the traditions of Hispanic culture are not necessarily in-synch with the concept of ‘mainstream society’ or the ‘American Dream.’ In general, Hispanics are right brain thinkers. The marketer must ‘acculturate’ or risk losing relevancy by continued reliance on left brain thinking.” (Emphases mine)

We live in a world of too much marketing and too much branding. The role of a marketer is to convince us to want things we don’t really need because their goal personal goal is to promote or exchange goods or services for money. They will develop techniques to that will trigger a person’s emotions that also meet their wants and/or needs. Their employment, like any marketing company, exist with the sole purpose to convince people that consuming resources is a way toward greater happiness. But the question is at who’s expense?

With few prospects of gaining US citizenship through the usual channels, and with little hope of employment, decent housing and education, risking ones life for a glimmer of a chance for a better future clearly holds some attraction. But it does comes with a price. The sad reality, the promises made by the Government frequently fail to materialize. Just ask Yaderlin Jiminez, wife of missing servicemen Alex Jimenez, who is now facing deportation. One of the greatest challenges for many immigrants is the experience of immigration itself, but to the Bush War Machine, this is not a concern to them. For them, all they see is cannon fodder for their war effort, while at the same time they arrogantly tell military families they should “learn how to laugh” if they fell stressed out from hear news about the war. To the military people expendable while families are morning over the fresh graves that are being dug daily! Maybe the Bush cabal can see the humor in sending thousands of people in harms way, however, I doubt the children do as they see their moms or dads being shipping off to a war that is illegal, immoral and unjust. Or the the parents who are losing their sons and daughters. Or the spouses who are losing their husbands and wifes.

Ironically, nativist and xenophobic groups are demanding the deportation of the Brown, yet, you never hear them complain when it is not unusual to hear a Spanish surname on the roll call of dead or missing. Among the first US solider killed at the beginning of the Iraq War was Jose Antonio Gutierrez from Guatemala according to Casualties.org’s database.

For some immigrants, the DREAM Act will help them access to college in the US; for others, the barriers will continue to be insurmountable. One thing is certain – if the immigration bill passes, the quest to access higher education and achieve the American Dream will be nothing but a pipe dream as these new residents will be at the frontlines of next imperial misadventures.

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  1. odd The Real Post for Today [updates] « Marisacat Trackback on Jun 29th, 2007 at 9:02 am
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27 Comments

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  1. Gravatar Icon kyledeb Jun 24th, 2007 at 12:27 am

    I was really looking forward to seeing you write on this, and I’m glad that you did. I always had this perception that the military would be an extremely helpful step up for a lot of people as well until I read the bit you wrote about the problems that a lot of veterans have. Military service has to mess so many people’s heads up.

  2. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr Jun 24th, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Kyle the military would be an extremely helpful, in fact, for a high school grad, you are given $38,000 to go to college. However, when your getting all the high-tech training you can possibly get at the University of Hard Knocks in sunny Iraq, you better hope you come back alive and have full mental capacity.

    From a MSN article:

    Obviously, military life isn’t for everyone. Your chances of success using today’s military as an economic springboard depend on three things:
    * What you want: Are you looking for a career? A way to pay for school? Skills can use as a civilian?

    * What you bring to the table: How willing are you to risk your life? Do you have any particular skill the military needs?

    * The deal you cut when signing up.

    Either way, you still have to serve.

  3. Gravatar Icon Miguel Carvente Oct 21st, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Today i stumbled into your article, and quite frankly, i find it biased, counterproductive, and ignorant of the principal reason of the DREAM Act. In your article, you speak against the DREAM Act, because you believe that the majority of undocumented youth will opt for the military; yet, you fail to mention that without such legislation, the future of the undocumented youth is bleak and simple: to subsist in the shadows of an underground economy. And, by speaking against the DREAM Act, you prefer to have undocumented youth subsist in the shadows, rather than have an actual glimmer of hope. On the other hand, the DREAM Act would provide the most important thing of all: a path to legalization that currently does not exist. With this path, youth will not only be able to attain better paying jobs, but also pay their way and have access to financial resources to a university. But then again, by advocating against the DREAM Act, you, like the rest of America, would rather see the de facto American youth in the shadows of low paying jobs, rather than sitting next to you in a classroom in a university.

  4. Gravatar Icon Nezua Limon Xolagrafik-Jonez Oct 23rd, 2007 at 9:11 am

    miguel, when you lump XP in with “the rest of america” and presume that he would rather see undocumented “in the shadows of low paying jobs” you only prove you dont know a damn thing about this site or the content. XP is a huge voice promoting the well being every day of the undocumented, he does it for free, and he puts a lot of time into it.

    so argue his facts if you like, argue his thesis if it offends you. but stop there. dont start attacking him or imagining you know what group he can be lumped in with or what he prefers for raza because you are wrong, and frankly, embarrassing yourself.

  5. Gravatar Icon kyledeb Oct 27th, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Word, Nez,

    I always think it’s ridiculous when someone can come stumbling through the web and leave a comment in a forum without even thinking of who they are characterizing.

    This comment was probably left by one of my readers, since my Tam Tran post got a good deal of coverage. For that I apologize. I should have characterized you for the migrant warrior that you are, XP.

  6. Gravatar Icon Abdul Apr 9th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    last year i backed off my application for job into afghanistan. i do expect to could get my citizenship after the completion of the term of 5 years. the time i get my citizenship is almost ten months more to could get it. but uncle sam’s dreams some times turns true and all the turn overs are getting worse even horrible than a real dreams or a nightmare. games expanding and replacing the reality which fades all the real dreams. players are loser and lead their game a negative instead to could win but lose it very easily. even they make the gap greater and greater brign down the whole big ship at the bottom of the sea. so dis appointment is always suffer by those who have desire to cold do some thing for the human race. but the gamblers are incompatible and they are losers.

  7. Gravatar Icon jack May 2nd, 2008 at 5:19 am

    i dont think so its almost the only way for the immigrents to try to be legal which actually the goverment was supossed to take care of it this year earlier and we all are trying to be like every body and get a chance to see our families and kids.
    =================================================
    jack
    =================================================
    New York Immigration Lawyer Marina Shepelsky, located in Brooklyn, assists clients from the New York metro area and across the United States in all immigration and naturalization matters http://www.e-us-visa.com

  8. Gravatar Icon goguis May 19th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    i just want to say thank you.
    i found the article very helpful.

  9. Gravatar Icon vallai02 Jun 17th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    i dont think so its almost the only way for the immigrents to try to be legal which actually the goverment was supossed to take care of it this year earlier and we all are trying to be like every body and get a chance to see our families and kids.
    =====================================
    vallai02
    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution! http://www.widecircles..com

  10. Gravatar Icon flitzer Jun 18th, 2008 at 12:24 am

    The are lots of immiration at each and every country. Here also done. The immigration officers are behave like a military people. Its not good. So please try to change a set of rules.
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    flitzer

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  11. Gravatar Icon flitzer Jun 18th, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Each and every country have the immiration. But certain country followed very strictly. If the certain rules are changed its very helpful for those who wish to come there.
    *******************************************************

    flitzer

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    http://www.widecircles..com

  12. Gravatar Icon ferrari123 Jun 18th, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Ironically, nativist and xenophobic groups are demanding the deportation of the Brown, yet, you never hear them complain when it is not unusual to hear a Spanish surname on the roll call of dead or missing. Among the first US solider killed at the beginning of the Iraq War was Jose Antonio Gutierrez from Guatemala according to Casualties.org’s database.

    ————————————————————

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution!
    http://www.widecircles.com

  13. Gravatar Icon sandra Jun 18th, 2008 at 4:04 am

    Immigration refers to the movement of people between countries. While the movement of people has existed throughout human history at various levels.

    sandra

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    http://www.widecircles.com

  14. Gravatar Icon jemila95 Jun 18th, 2008 at 4:07 am

    I should have characterized you for the migrant warrior that you are, XP.players are loser and lead their game a negative instead to could win but lose it very easily.
    =====================================================
    jemila95

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution!


    http://www.widecircles.com

  15. Gravatar Icon Jeffery Jun 18th, 2008 at 4:23 am

    The article was worth reading and I appreciate all the expressions about the green card draft on immigrants.
    _______________________________________________________

    Jeffery
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    http://www.widecircles..com

  16. Gravatar Icon morshaldock Jun 18th, 2008 at 4:59 am

    morshaldock
    ==========================================
    New York Immigration Lawyer Marina Shepelsky, located in Brooklyn, assists clients from the New York metro area and across the United States in all immigration and naturalization matters

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution! http://www.widecircles.com

  17. Gravatar Icon morshaldock Jun 18th, 2008 at 5:02 am

    morshaldock
    ==========================================
    The United States government issues 55,000 Green Cards every year through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, commonly known as the Green Card Lottery. Applicants are selected randomly by a computer generated drawing. If selected, the main applicant, spouse and all unmarried children under 21 years of age will have a chance to apply for permanent resident status in the United States.

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  18. Gravatar Icon morshaldock Jun 18th, 2008 at 5:04 am

    morshaldock
    ==========================================
    For some immigrants, the DREAM Act will help them access to college in the US; for others, the barriers will continue to be insurmountable. One thing is certain – if the immigration bill passes, the quest to access higher education and achieve the American Dream will be nothing but a pipe dream as these new residents will be at the frontlines of next imperial misadventures.

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution! http://www.widecircles.com

  19. Gravatar Icon rozhana Jun 18th, 2008 at 5:17 am

    This article is very nice.I came to know more new things.Thank you…
    ————————-
    rozhana

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution! http://www.widecircles.com

  20. Gravatar Icon vinkey Jun 18th, 2008 at 5:21 am

    I was really looking forward to seeing you write on this, and I’m glad that you did. I always had this perception that the military would be an extremely helpful step up for a lot of people as well until I read the bit you wrote about the problems that a lot of veterans have. Military service has to mess so many people’s heads up.

    **********************************************
    vinkey

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution!

    http://www.widecircles..com

  21. Gravatar Icon jessy6 Jun 18th, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Military service has to mess so many people’s heads up.

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution! http://www.widecircles.com

  22. Gravatar Icon madhu Jun 19th, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Each and every country facing the problem immigration .But the rules & regulations of the green card is restricted rules.we want to implement some other rules is better.
    ================================================
    madhu

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution!

    http://widecircles.com

  23. Gravatar Icon maheshwari Jul 2nd, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Immigration refers to the movement of people between countries. While the movement of people has existed throughout human history at various levels,
    this is the very serous problem our country is facing

    Your Social Media Marketing Turnkey Solution!
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    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    maheshwari
    http://xicanopwr.com/2007/06/the-green-card-draft-one-immigrants-nightmare-is-uncle-sams-dream/#comment-4033

  24. Gravatar Icon santoshrao Jul 6th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    American immigration (emigration to the United States of America) refers to the movement
    of non-residents to the United States. Even though the foreign born have never composed
    more than 16% of the U.S. population since 1675[citation needed] , immigration has been
    a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of American history.
    The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy
    regarding ethnicity, religion, economic benefits, job growth, settlement patterns,
    impact on upward social mobility, levels of criminality, nationalities, political
    loyalties, moral values, and work habits. As of 2006, the United States accepts more
    legal immigrants as permanent residents than any other country in the world.[1] In 2006,
    the number of immigrants totaled 37.5 million
    ===========================================================
    your social media marketing turnkey solution!
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    ###############################

    santoshrao
    http://xicanopwr.com/2007/06/the-green-card-draft-one-immigrants-nightmare-is-uncle-sams-dream/#comment-4350

  25. Gravatar Icon johnsmith Feb 27th, 2009 at 5:18 am

    There are several ways of applying for US permanent residence (or “green card” status). The most common employment-based method is through labor certification. Labor certification is an official government finding that willing and qualified U.S. workers are not available to fill the position in question and that employment of a foreign national will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly situated US workers.

    http://www.drivenwide.com

  26. Gravatar Icon Timmy Feb 24th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I think that trading a green card visa for a tour in the military is a very fair trade off IF AND ONLY IF the immigrant agrees to it. Any kind of forced enlistment is just wrong in general and will lead to even more issues.

  27. Gravatar Icon Green Card Visa Jul 6th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I just don’t see any issues with the DREAM act. I think if an illegal citizen wishes to join the US military in exchange for residency or citizenship, it is a fair trade that should be allowed. The only stipulation is that, of course, the enrollment must be voluntary and they must fully complete their service before gaining any privileges. Beyond that, it sounds like an incredibly fair exchange of goods and services.

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