The Boston Globe is reporting that Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who on Tuesday voted to filibuster a measure to gradually repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is now lashing out against Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust for saying that the University would “continue barring ROTC from campus” unless the the ban against gays and lesbians is repealed. Brown also criticized Gilpin for supporting the DREAM Act and suggested that she would rather open the school to undocumented immigrants than military recruiters:
“Harvard President Faust has been lobbying on Capitol Hill in support of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants attending college. Harvard has its priorities upside down,” the Massachusetts Republican said in a statement. “They should embrace young people who want to serve their country, rather than promoting a plan that provides amnesty to students who are in this country illegally.”
“I am extremely disappointed to learn of Harvard University’s decision to continue to ban ROTC from its campus,” he added. “It is incomprehensible to me that Harvard does not allow ROTC to use its facilities, but welcomes students who are in this country illegally.”
The obvious point to make is that the DREAM Act itself would allow “young people who want to serve their country” enlist in the service. The Act permits immigrants who meet all eligibility requirements and serve in the U.S. armed forces or attend college for at least two years to obtain regular lawful permanent resident status after six years. As Andrea Nill points out, many Military experts have come out in support of the DREAM Act because it would significantly increase the pool of qualified recruits in the Latino population, which comprises the majority of undocumented immigrants and which research indicates are more likely to enlist and serve in the military than any other group.
Brown posits false choice — he’s saying that given the option of allowing Harvard students access to ROTC recruiters on campus or providing young undocumented immigrants with legal status, Faust ignored the the needs of military. That’s a hard argument to make when the Defense Department supports the Act and if Brown had allowed the Senate to proceed with debate, we could be on the brink of ending DADT (which would allow recruiters back on campus) and opening up the ranks to those who want to serve their country.