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Mattis: Military DREAMers Should Still Be Protected If DACA Expires
Good news for DREAMers who are in the military or honorably discharged veterans: The Defense Department has your back, even if Congress can’t get its act together.
Currently, about 900 service members who were brought to the United States illegally as children are protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said on Thursday.
DACA is set to expire on March 5 and President Donald Trump has told Congress that he wants lawmakers to send him a law on immigration before then. But Democrats and Republicans remain divided on a way forward for immigration, so as of Thursday, chances of lawmakers reaching an agreement on DACA remained slim.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday that DACA recipients who are on active-duty, waiting to begin military training, in the active reserves, and veterans who received an honorable discharge should continue to be protected from deportation should DACA expire.
The only exceptions would be if service members covered by DACA committed a serious felony or if a federal judge has signed a final order to deport a service member, said Mattis, who added he is not aware that any service members are facing a deportation order.
“This has always been the case,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. “We would always stand by one of our people and I have never found the Department of Homeland Security unwilling to take any call from anyone on my staff if we in fact found somebody, who had been treated unjustly.”
When asked to explain what legal authority would prevent DACA recipients from being deported if the program expires next month, Mattis did not answer directly.
“They’re protected,” he said. “I think that it [DACA] is not coming to an end either. You can sign up right now, as I understand it. Now, I’m not an expert on DACA. I’m an expert on the military.”
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
The Air Force is investigating whether an airman smoked weed at a missile alert facility for nuclear Minuteman ICBMs
The Air Force is investigating reports that an airman consumed marijuana while assigned to one of the highly-sensitive missile alert facility (MAF) responsible for overseeing 400 nuclear GM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
We salute the Marine scout sniper who snuck up on an enemy completely naked except for a pair of boots
An expert sniper can sneak up on an enemy naked as the day he was born. It's not particularly advised, but one top sharpshooter did exactly that just to prove a point, Marine snipers told Insider.