U.S. Recruiting Illegal Immigrants Along SoCal Border to Register For Selective Service

Prospects row across the Rio Grande. (Joking).
Prospects row across the Rio Grande. (Joking).
U.S. Army.

Is the United States searching for military recruits ... along the border?

That's the implication in a recent report by San Diego's public radio and TV broadcaster KPBS, which states the U.S. Selective Service has been conducting an "outreach campaign" to target undocumented immigrants.

A Selective Service spokesman doesn't deny it, but says ...

" ... that's been true forever."

"We try to get the word out, so we identify groups that deal with immigrants and tell them to get the word out through their grapevine," Selective Service spokesman Dan Amon tells the Weekly.

The issue at hand, he says, is that illegal or not, you have to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of your 18th birthday and up until you're 26 if you're new to the U.S.

By reaching out, Amon says, the Selective Service is doing undocumenteds a favor. Because if they stay here long enough and try to get a green card, not having registered as required will end up being a road hazard on the path to citizenship.

"The problem is an undocumented person here might want to keep a low profile, work hard, save money, stay out of trouble, and then regularize his status," he says. "And then he's 26 and finds out he was supposed to register and doesn't know what hit him."

Although illegals can register for military service, they're not supposed to serve. Some have, however, and that has become a path to citizenship in a few cases.

KPBS theorizes that the campaign could foreshadow some change in U.S. immigration policy.

Amon promises that a registrant's info doesn't go to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Some immigrants' rights attorneys are advising their clients to stay away from the registration process anyway.


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