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Dream Act vote scheduled for tomorrow: Pentagon leader calls legalizing young immigrants key to recruiting, retaining quality force

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nev. gestures during a news conference on Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010.

The Pentagon’s manpower chief says a measure to legalize young immigrants who came to the county illegally is an obvious way to attract more high-quality recruits to the armed forces.

Clifford Stanley, the undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, says it would be unconscionable not to enact the so-called Dream Act. It would give hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to the United States before the age of 16 a chance to gain legal status if they joined the military or attended college.

But it faces long odds in Congress, where most Republicans and a handful of Democrats regard it as backdoor amnesty for lawbreakers.

Democrats’ bid to advance it is likely to fail in a Senate test-vote scheduled for Wednesday.

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