By Javier Manjarres
As Senator Marco Rubio continues to conceptualize his “conservative” alternative to the controversial Dream Act legislation, some Republican candidates are indicating their support of Rubio’s forthcoming proposal while calling attention to one of the potentially problematic aspects of the proposal- its military component, which if not properly addressed could open a floodgate of litigation.
Republican congressional candidate Julius Melendez is a current U.S. National Guard Medic who has completed two tours in Iraq, and he sees the military component as “viable.” Melendez spoke to the Shark Tank and went into some detail about the military option that Rubio is considering and what its provisions could possibly entail so that discharge parameters are clear before enlistment.
Senator Rubio has stated that under his proposed plan children who were brought to this country illegally would be granted a temporary student visa and given the option to serve in the military. The only way for military enlistees to be granted legal citizenship is to obtain an Honorable Discharge from the military- anything less would not earn them citizenship.
Melendez laid out a couple of unfortunate loopholes that could cause issues down the road once enlistees begin the process of leaving the military. Honorable Discharge, General (under honorable conditions) and Dishonorable Discharge are the three most common types of discharge. But aside from these forms of discharge, enlistees can also be ‘separated’ from the military for different reasons.
Melendez points out that enlistees can also exit the military via a “medical separation” or by receiving an “administrative separation with a characterization of service (characterized separation) or description of separation (uncharacterized separation) as warranted by the facts of the particular case.” U.S. Military regulations state the following:
In addition to that, “Individuals who are separated with less than 180 days of continuous active military service may be separated as an “Entry Level Separation.” In these cases, there is no characterization of service at all”.
Another type of administrative separation is “Order of Release from the Custody and Control of the Military Services” by reason of void enlistment or induction. This type of separation also has no characterization of service”. (Source)
“Instead of it being an inclusive definition, it its an exclusive definition. It should exclude those that are dishonorably discharged. Anyone else who belongs to any other category should be given that opportunity”. Julius Melendez, U.S. Congressional Candidate (Website)
Julius Melendez is running in a contested Republican primary and could possibly face Democrat Alan Grayson in the General Election.
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