Immigration reform goes to the House floor this week, and San Antonio Congressman Joaquín Castro has introduced an amendment to the next military budget bill that would give students with Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) status the same rights given to many international students who apply to military academies.
“DACA status allows somebody, a young person, who’s been in the country for many years to obtain, essentially, a temporary status that allows them to stay here and work," Castro said. "And the way I see it, it was kind of a bridge measure that the president took executive action on until the Congress can pass comprehensive immigration reform."
If approved, Castro’s amendment would effectively provide an additional stop-gap for DACA students who choose a military career, allowing them to attend military academies and then serve in the armed forces for five years.
The House is set to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2015 this week, but Castro said comprehensive immigration reform has stalled in the House.
“The Senate has already passed a version but the House of Representatives has refused to move," Castro said. "The final answer on all of this is that we need to pass legislation on immigration reform.”
Protestors gathered outside the Capitol Tuesday, urging passage of another amendment to the budget bill that would grant citizenship to those who have served in the military.
Castro’s amendment must be approved by committee to be authorized for a full vote by the House.