On College Admission, Military Recruitment, and Illegal Aliens

By Dan Cadman on June 8, 2016

Bastion of truth and rectitude Politifact recently assessed a statement by Wisconsin state representative Dale Kooyenga: "Today it is more difficult to enlist in the U.S. military than it is to enroll in college."

The Politifactors rated it "half true", apparently because the phrasing was too categorical for their liking, since, in their words, "There isn't definitive evidence to prove the claim given that it mixes apples and oranges: The military and college are different pursuits with different sets of minimum standards for getting in, and among colleges, the entrance requirements vary widely."

And yet, also in their words, "[T]here are credible estimates saying that roughly 75 percent of young adults in America wouldn't be eligible to enlist if they tried, while roughly two out of three high school graduates go on to a two- or four-year college." So Kooyenga pretty much nailed it.

Politifact's researchers and analysts seem like close kin to the arbiters at Facebook, who were recently outed for suppressing conservative views, in that they consistently measure what they perceive of as "conservative" statements with a fine tooth comb, whereas they equally consistently make allowances in pushing the meter to "true" for all but the most absurd pearls uttered by liberals and progressives.

But I don't want to stray from my path here and continue heaping scorn on Politifact or its ally in thought crime, PunditFact, because I want to focus on the selectivity of military recruiting — a good thing, all in all, because it ensures smart, capable armed forces, clearly a necessity in today's treacherous world where they are constantly thrust into harm's way in remote, dusty, and dangerous theaters of operation.

In its recent vote on the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund troops, materiel, operations, and readiness, Congress had a chance to ditch a program called "Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest" (MAVNI), which is a deliberately obscure name for the Pentagon's directive to its recruiters to sign up "legal non-citizens with in-demand skills to join the [military] in exchange for expedited U.S. citizenship."

But, as with many of this administration's policies, what you think you see isn't what you get. The MAVNI net has been cast so wide that "legal non-citizens" in fact includes illegal aliens who have been happy beneficiaries of the Obama administration's constitutionally dubious executive action giving them temporary amnesty, which is currently under a legal restraining order and before the Supreme Court. It also includes aliens who have received temporary protected status, another much-abused program that has been used to shelter hundreds of thousands from the expectation that the obey the immigration laws and leave or face deportation.

Exactly why it is in the national interest to recruit illegal aliens of dubious loyalty, whose backgrounds are impossible to adequately investigate, and whose very identities are open to question, has never been explained.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced a floor amendment to kill the program during debate on the NDAA in mid-May. What happened? Despite promises to open up debate and end the dubious bottle-stopping tactics of his predecessor whenever disliked or inconvenient motions or amendments were put forward, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), true to his open borders agenda, quickly, quietly, and effectively put a stake through the heart of the outrageous notion that the military is no place to experiment with immigration policy or push amnesty agendas. So MAVNI continues, having faced no significant opposition in the Senate, either, despite clear evidence that military recruiting is going so well that they can afford to be very selective, as even Politifact readily concedes.

If many establishment Republican stalwarts can't quite conceive of the rapid rise of the Trump phenomenon, perhaps even a micro-second's worth of introspection would reveal how they have lost their base, who have proven not to be the mindless followers and sheep that they apparently took them to be. Amid repeated denunciations that Trump is no true conservative, many rank-and-file voters ask: What is conservative about an open-borders agenda, and what is admirable about weak-kneed leaders who consistently cave to the administration's wrecking ball approach to immigration enforcement? These "conservative" stalwarts look to the common man more like Pharisees than modern-day Solons.

Whatever the outcome of this presidential election, one suspects that the shockwaves within the Republican Party will not be over. The fissures may even worsen substantially if there is a scintilla of evidence that GOP elites and #NeverTrump supporters in any way collude in a fit of pique to split off key votes, thus tossing the election to the left.