The Wall Street Journal quotes my friend Margaret Stock who explains why.
In an interview, Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) accused Sen. Reid of attempting to use a "must-pass" defense bill to ram through an amnesty.
Supporters of the bill, including many with close ties to the military and higher education, see it differently.
"Passage of the Dream Act would be extremely beneficial to the U.S. military and the country as a whole," said Margaret Stock, a retired West Point professor who studies immigrants in the military. She said it made "perfect" sense to attach it to the defense-authorization bill.
Louis Caldera, secretary of the Army under President Bill Clinton, said that as they struggled to meet recruiting goals, "recruiters at stations were telling me it would be extremely valuable for these patriotic people to be allowed to serve our country."
Immigrants have been eligible to enlist in the U.S. military since the Revolutionary War. As of June 2009, foreign-born individuals represented 8% of the 1.4 million military personnel on active duty in the U.S. armed forces.