Defense Secretary Mattis Says Military 'Dreamers' Protected

James Mattis with reporters

James Mattis with reporters

"We would always stand by one of our people", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

"They will not be subject to any kind of deportation", he said.

"Anyone who is in the delayed enlistment program - in other words, they are already signed up and they are waiting to go into boot camp - anyone on active duty, and anyone in the active reserves, and anyone with an honorable discharge is, right now, except for two possible exceptions, they will not be subject to any kind of deportation", the Pentagon chief said.

"They're protected", he said.

There is now no plan to reach a spending decision with DACA in Thursday's House vote, and Ben Mueller, border member of the C-U Immigration Forum, said that the organizations in attendance tomorrow hope that the Washington representatives will vote to extend DACA negotiations. "(Mitch) McConnell bring that bill to the floor for a vote, and we are hoping that we can put as much pressure on our elected representatives, including Rep. Davis, to support that vote when it's called to the floor in the house", Mueller said. As for the Dreamers in the ranks, she said "we respect their service and we'll continue to do that". It also allows them to serve in the military.

All of those DACA service members came in under a small, special recruiting program called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, that seeks people with particularly critical skills.

Under the DACA program put in place by former President Barack Obama, they were allowed to remain in the US without fear of deportation, enroll in college, obtain driver's licenses and legally secure jobs.

The program is set to expire March 5, and is a cornerstone of ongoing immigration negotiations in Congress.

Trump has said any immigration deal must include billions of dollars to build a wall on the border with Mexico. The agreement, announced by both the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate, would lift caps on defense funding and some domestic government spending.

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