From: The Honorable Ruben Gallego
Sent By: matt.lee2@mail.house.gov
Date: 6/15/2016

Oppose the Gosar and King NDAA Amendments

Dear Colleague:

Immigrants have been fighting in America’s Armed Forces since the founding of the Republic.  Please join me in opposing two misguided, mean-spirited amendments that are inconsistent with this rich tradition.     

DOD is currently allowing a small number of immigrants who possess critical foreign language and technical skills to join the military through a program called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI).  The
Gosar (#4) and King (#2) amendments seek to end this important program, preventing immigrants from serving in uniform who have linguistic skills and cultural knowledge that could make a difference on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. 

It’s important note that the MAVNI program is fully consistent with current law.  As the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry, stated in a recent debate on the issue, “The Secretary has authority
to fill critical needs, whatever they may be, with individuals, however they may have gotten here.”
It’s also important to note that eligibility for this program encompasses immigrants—including asylees, refugees, and a variety of visa-holders—who entered the United States
legally.       

Finally, these amendments are contrary to our national security needs.  The strength of our military is defined not just by the potency of our weapons but by the quality of our people.  Our Armed Forces need the best soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen they can get.  We should leave the doors of our military open to young immigrants who love America and are willing to lay down their lives for our country.

Sincerely,

Ruben Gallego

Member of Congress