Equating a High School Diploma with Service in the Military?
President Obama has equated graduating high school (or obtaining a GED) with military service, in terms of justifying granting work permits to illegal aliens of a certain age.
There is a long history of legal residents who are non-citizens serving in the military. During the Civil War one quarter of the Union Army was made up of immigrants. Last year 8,465 non-citizens enlisted in the U.S. armed forces (4.6 percent of total enlistments). Currently, 28,591 non-citizens are on active duty (2.5 percent of active duty forces).
There is also a long tradition of service in the military being a fast track to citizenship.
Service in the military is seen as the highest form of patriotism especially if that service involves combat. Service in the military means you have demonstrated the extent of your belief in the value of being an American citizen.
Getting a high school diploma? It may demonstrate next to nothing. Some high school graduates can barely read or write. They have barely any knowledge of US history and can't even name the three branches of government. They may just come out with an attitude that the US sucks.
Bundling military service with getting a high school diploma as part of Obama's declaration is pure subterfuge. The former is already a fast track to citizenship the latter may be little basis for much of anything.