Press Releases

VIDEO: Jaime Herrera Beutler: Individuals Willing “to Die Defending You and Me” Have Earned Right to Pursue Citizenship

f t # e
Washington, DC, May 14, 2015 | comments
Today, Jaime Herrera Beutler went before the U.S. House to support the ability of non-citizens to enlist in our nation’s military.
share: f t

Today, Jaime Herrera Beutler went before the U.S. House to support the ability of non-citizens to enlist in our nation’s military. Jaime spoke on the U.S. House floor to oppose an amendment that would have stripped a provision from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing certain non-citizens to serve in the U.S. military.

Specifically, a provision in the NDAA would give opportunities for undocumented residents who have spent a majority of their lives in the U.S. to serve their country in uniform, and upon completion, pursue U.S. citizenship. 

“…if someone through their merit and their hard work earns acceptance into that elite fighting force, where they could die defending you and me, then  I leave you with this question:  what country’s flag would you have draped on the casket of that brave soul?” said Jaime in her statement. 

The transcript and a video of her entire remarks are below.

Background:

More than 660,000 military veterans became citizens through naturalization between 1862 and 2000. More recently, between 2002 and 2014, more than 100,000 individuals were naturalized as American citizens through military service.

 Click here to watch Jaime's speech.

 

Text of Jaime’s speech:

“Jesus said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friend, and Abraham Lincoln said that giving your life for your country is the last full measure of devotion. That is why I am opposed to this amendment.

“I’m proud that in America, citizenship means something. It is worthy to be earned. Amnesty, to me, means giving it away, and I don’t support that. I do support the ability to earn citizenship, and if a person has the courage and conviction to take the oath and to join our nation’s warriors to defend you and I, what more can they do to prove their allegiance? The military is not a jobs program. And  if someone through their merit and their hard work earns acceptance into that elite fighting force, where they could die defending you and me, then  I leave you with this question: what country’s flag would you have draped on the casket of that brave soul?”

###

 

f t # e