(U.S. Army/ Eric Pilgrim)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Josh Harder knows there's little chance that a big immigration bill will pass in Congress this year. But so-called Dreamers — people who came to the country illegally as children — in his district want any path to citizenship they can get.

"I've heard from Dreamers, 'Just give me any route,'" Harder, D-Calif., told McClatchy.

Those conversations led to an unusual move by the freshman Democrat. He's taking up legislation that was the brainchild of his opponent and predecessor, Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, that would allow Dreamers to both enlist in the military and obtain citizenship through service in the armed forces.

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U.S. Army photo / Staff Sgt. Matthew Keeler.

The Army has rescinded the discharges of more than 30 soldiers recruited under a now-defunct program that offered citizenship to immigrants with special skills, but this may only be a delay in their eventual separations, a Pentagon official told Task & Purpose.

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Associated Press/Eric Gay

Yea Ji Sea joined the U.S. Army more than four years ago hoping to serve her new country and, in the process, earn her citizenship.

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U.S. Navy / Scottt Thornbloom.

The Department of Defense is strongly disputing a recent article by the Associated Press that suggests the United States Army has begun purging its ranks of non-U.S. citizens as the Trump administration ramps up efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.

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