Senator Backs Unlawful Migrants in Military

U.S. military members with flag of the United States of America
U.S. military members with flag of the United States of America | Image by Bumble Dee/Shutterstock

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently backed legislation that would allow unlawful migrants to enlist in the U.S. armed forces.

In a Senate floor speech delivered on Monday, Durbin endorsed Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s (D-IL) bill that, if enacted, would allow unlawful migrants to enlist in all six branches of the U.S. military.

Durbin’s support for the proposal is notable because of his prominent leadership role within the Senate Democratic Caucus. He currently serves as the caucus whip, which means he is responsible for gathering support for the party leadership’s legislative agenda in the upper chamber.

In the speech, Durbin suggested unlawful migrants could fill shortfalls in military recruitment:

“Do you know what the recruiting numbers are at the Army, Navy, and the Air Force? They can’t reach their quotas each month. They can’t find enough people to join our military forces. And there are those who are undocumented who want the chance to serve and risk their lives for this country. Should we give them a chance? I think we should.”

Recruitment has continued to lag behind targets in recent years. In fiscal year 2023, the Army and Air Force reported a shortfall of 10,000 recruits, while the Navy reported a 6,000-recruit shortfall.

Still, the potential recruitment of unlawful migrants into the military amid a continuing border crisis that has led to millions of arrivals into the United States has already proven controversial.

Activist and publisher Michael Quinn Sullivan decried the proposal in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

“In the history of bad ideas, Dick Durbin offers the worst possible idea imaginable for our national security,” he wrote. “But, yeah, let the Chinese nationals who are sneaking across BY THE THOUSANDS join the Army. What could possibly go wrong?”

Even comedian Larry the Cable Guy panned Durbin’s speech on X.

“There’s dumb and then there’s Dick Durbin dumb! What could go wrong. People not loyal to the constitution speaking 5 different languages. Brilliant!” the comedian posted.

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