The United States is struggling to recruit enough personnel in its military, with last year's (2022) recruitment numbers being the lowest in decades.
Last year, the US Army fell short of recruiting 15,000 active-duty soldiers or 25 per cent of its target, forcing it to reduce its strength from 476,000 to 466,000 soldiers. The Air Force and Navy also fell short of their respective targets, and this is expected to slow down even more.
Meanwhile, thousands of immigrants lined up at its southern border hoping to get a chance to live in the US.
Democratic Party Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has an unconventional solution for these twin problems of recruitment and immigration.
During a recent speech in the US Senate, Durbin, acknowledging the 'overwhelming numbers' at the US border, called for a reconsideration of America's immigration approach, particularly given its identity as a nation of immigrants.
He proposed recruiting undocumented immigrants who want a chance to serve and risk their lives for this country in the US military, offering them citizenship in return.
Senator Durbin pointed out the recruitment struggles within the US military, describing the low enlistment levels as a "grave threat to our national security." He noted that all branches of the military are failing to meet their monthly recruitment quotas, with the Army, Navy, and Air Force all experiencing shortfalls.
“Do you know what the recruiting numbers are at the Army, Navy, and the Air Force? They can't reach their quotas each month. They can't find enough people to join our military forces. And there are those who are undocumented who want the chance to serve and risk their lives for this country. Should we give them a chance? I think we should," he said.
He believes that granting this chance could address the recruitment crisis while providing undocumented individuals a means to demonstrate their loyalty and commitment to the country.
Durbin, whose mother was an immigrant, highlighted his unique position as a first-generation American and expressed his understanding of the complex issues faced by the country.
“I'm a person who believes in immigration. My mother was an immigrant, and I'm proud to be in the Senate as a first-generation American representing the great state of Illinois," he added.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!