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15 June 2012


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They cannot. He is simply trying to lump illegal immigrants with as many desireable cross segments as possible. This is a slap in the face of all those who gave thier lives to secure our borders. It is never too late secede from this tottering wreck of a nation.


Illegal aliens are barred from service, but there was a pilot program in 2009 (not sure if it's still in effect) to allow aliens here on temporary visas to enlist. If those people stayed in the US after their visa expired they would become illegal and perhaps that's what this is about. I can't think of any other circumstances which would apply unless they mean illegal family members (spouses, children) of legal immigrants who served.

Jose L Campos

I am reading Herodotus and gone through Thermopylae today. Before those pages there are lengthy lists of non Persians inducted into the army of Xerxes.
Then we have the Roman auxiliaries, non citizens, then the emancipated slaves given Roman citizenship hastily so that they could be conscripted. I remember the names of Herman and Arbogast and Alaric.
The Byzantines also recruited large numbers of foreigners for their armies. the Spanish fought the Thirty Year War with mercenaries mostly Italian and German. Hitler had the Romanians and Hungarians and Italians. Necessity is mother of invention.

Jose L Campos

I forgot to mention the very entertaining novel by Flaubert, Salammbo, that frames the mercenaries rebellion against their paymasters, the Carthaginian merchants.


Jose L. Campos

So what? It does not appear that we have done that. pl


No, there are people who have served who are illegal immigrants.
"Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, an Immigrant From Guatemala, Was Killed In a Tank Battle In Iraq in March 2003. According to CBS News, “The heroism and sacrifice of non-citizens was barely known — until Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez died in battle in Iraq. He came from Guatemala, and he came to the United States illegally. We can tell you how his story ended. He was killed in a tank battle in southern Iraq on March 21 [2003].” [CBS News, 8/20/03]

Gutierrez Was Granted Citizenship Posthumously. According to CBS News, “No death of any soldier goes un-mourned. But the death of a man who died for a country that was not his — that proved especially poignant to many Americans, including President Bush who visited two wounded non-citizen soldiers and made them citizens on the spot. Jose was also granted American citizenship posthumously, and that’s also when he became a hero. A cardinal officiated at a memorial service in a Los Angeles suburb, where many poor people, including Latinos, attended.” [CBS News, 8/20/03]"


I suspect that if you talked to a recruiter they could tell you how that might...inadvertantly...happen.


Maybe somebody like this:



It is possible to become illegal after service, and I think this is what is referred to. If an ex-service member & green card holder returns to their home country for more than a year the re-enters the US the will be illegal as they will be deemed to have abandoned their 'green card' (someting people fall afoul of by accident). A can't imagine that there are a huge amount of people falling into this category but it make good political cover for the overall move.

Will Reks

This applies to less than 10% of the estimated amount of illegal immigrants here and does not give them any path to citizenship. It's basically what Marco Rubio was proposing.

The Twisted Genius

They cannot enlist legally. However, I would not be surprised if some illegal immigrants did enlist fraudulently. All they would have had to do is show a birth certificate to a recruiter. If the certificate appeared legitimate (not hard to do) and the recruiter was desperate to meet his quota, it could easily happen. Someone like this would have committed fraud, but wouldn't yet have a criminal record. It would be an interesting case.


OK, but how was he enlisted? pl

robt willmann

How can an illegal alien serve in the U.S. Military?

That illegal immigrants have been in the U.S. Military is stated as a fact by Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Stasi Security, in "her" (as opposed to president Obama's) memorandum of 15 June 2012, which states, in part--

"The following criteria should be satisfied before an individual is considered for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion pursuant to this memorandum: ... is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; ...."



In order to be an honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, it is obvious that you would have had to have been admitted into the military. That is decided by the Department of Defense, as it implements laws and regulations. Janet Napolitano is in effect saying that military recruiters are letting illegal immigrants slide into the armed forces.

As you can see from the memorandum, the attempt to justify this whole thing "legally" is based on the "discretion" that the Immigration Service says it has regarding whether or not to bring any kind of immigration action against a person. They are saying it is like "prosecutorial discretion" in criminal cases, in which a local District Attorney, a U.S. Attorney, or the U.S. Justice Department decides whether to charge someone with a crime or present a case to the grand jury, and can decline to prosecute, even if the person's guilt is obvious and certain.

If the illegal immigrant satisfies the five "criteria", then he or she can be "considered" (wink, wink) for an "exercise of prosecutorial discretion". But the starry-eyed young person better think about the fine print in Janet's memorandum. They have to first pass a background check. Then if they are granted "deferred action" (apparently for two years), they have to apply to see if they qualify for work authorization. But those who are only "encountered" by Immigration authorities and are not formally in the system -- as noted under number 1 -- might be cut loose right then and there without being given a notice to appear. They are all, however, subject to the big fat disclaimer in the last paragraph: "This memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status [the important thing] or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights".

Getting back to the point of the above post, it would be useful if Ms. Napolitano would put on the table in plain view the evidence that there are illegal immigrants in the armed forces and how they got there.


MJ's story said 1. he came here illegally and 2.was a non-citizen when he was killed. Nothing about the interim. Perhaps he was subsequently able to secure legal status prior to enlistement.


Well, that explains it. He came here illegally, subsequently lied about his age and was able to then claim unaccompanied minor status and become a legal immigrant.

Bill H

Re. Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, the statement says only that he came to this country illegally. Is it possible that he achieved legal status before enlisting? Perhaps the amnesty of 1986?

Mac N.

The irony there would be there is no waiver of inadmissability to a false claim of US citizenship, per submission of the fake birth certificate....but, can we not agree that losing one's life for your adopted sovereign is an honorable act?

Mac N.


It appears illegals enlist using fraudulent green cards. Bush signed an executive order which allows immigrants with green cards to join the military and become naturalised citizens when they take the oath.



That doesn't say he was an illegal, just that he wasn't a citizen. There's a difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal alien.


And? Why should I care what Rubio, descendant of Cuban aristocrats who fled Castro's revolution, has to think about an influx of poor mestizo labor? Because he has a hispanic surname so that somehow makes him an immigration expert? Because he has an R next to his name?

He's just as wrong as Obama is. This is disgusting.


Gutierrez was a permanent resident (i.e. a legal immigrant) by the time he signed up with the Marines. There are doubtlessly many people who originally came to US as illegal immigrants, who, through one route or another, obtained legal status, and subsequently joined the military. To describe them as "illegals," though, is deeply misleading (and I think it is done deliberately to confuse people.)


Guatemala native put off college to join Marines

By Martin Kasindorf

USA Today

LOS ANGELES — One of the first U.S. servicemen killed in combat in Iraq was not a citizen of the country for which he sacrificed his life.

Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, a rifleman with the Marines, died in a firefight March 21 near Umm Qasr.

Born in Guatemala, Gutierrez held permanent U.S. resident status, which he obtained in 1999.

At 14, with his parents dead, Gutierrez followed the path of 700,000 of his countrymen to California. He made the 2,000-mile journey from his Guatemala City neighborhood without entry papers. He hopped 14 freight trains to get through Mexico. U.S. immigration authorities detained him.

Fernando Castillo, Guatemala’s consul general in Los Angeles, says the United States doesn’t deport Guatemalan minors who arrive without family. Gutierrez was made a ward of Los Angeles Juvenile Court. He was placed in a series of group homes and foster families. He learned English and finished high school.

When he reached 18, he got residency documents, Castillo said.

Marcelo Mosquera, a machinist from Ecuador, and his wife, Nora, were the last couple that sheltered the lanky teenager. They cared for two younger foster children, as well, at their home in suburban Lomita, said Hector Tobar, a family friend.

Neighbors told the Los Angeles Times that Gutierrez acted as the big brother, taking the younger kids to the nearby McDonald’s.

So Tyler can jump up and down and call for "secession" because the "United States doesn’t deport Guatemalan minors who arrive without family." I also suggest that there is a long tradition of people enlisting under false pretenses and that there are certainly recruiters that would aid in that.

Nancy K

Tyler, last time I checked it was not illegal to leave this country and emigrate to any other country who would have you. There are many of us who love the USA and have no desire to "secede from this tottering wreck of a nation." I'm not sure why you think it is a wreck, or when it became a wreck. Was it a wreck under Pres. Bush, Clinton. Nixon or has it just become a wreck since Obama became president. When I look at the rest of the world, I think we look pretty good.
Some of the states who are strongest on curtailing illegal immigration, are having trouble finding non hispanic workers to fill the jobs. I think that there are many non- hispanic legal citizens who do not want to do the work for the same pay. I realize that borders need to be secure but I aso feel that if a person was brought to this country as a child and has lived here his or her entire life then they should be allowed to stay here and be put on a pathway for citizenship. I applaud President Obama for his recent decision.


The answer is....

"USA Today

LOS ANGELES — One of the first U.S. servicemen killed in combat in Iraq was not a citizen of the country for which he sacrificed his life.

Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, a rifleman with the Marines, died in a firefight March 21 near Umm Qasr.

Born in Guatemala, Gutierrez held permanent U.S. resident status, which he obtained in 1999."


He was NOT a citizen but was also NOT illegal......


LCpl Gutierrez was a permanent resident - he was not illegal. He may have come to the US illegally, but he was not illegal when he enlisted.


It would be very difficult for an illegal to join since a SSN is required and the military checks to ensure the SSN is really yours.

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