Here’s the situation:
Juan Escalante was brought to the US illegally by his parents when he was just 4 years old.
He joined the army using a fake green card. He served loyally and well in Iraq.
It has recently been discovered that he enlisted under false pretenses. Now he and his whole family are slated to be deported.
“Escalante’s case raises a tangle of issues for the Pentagon. While the Army is required to discharge him, it is in no hurry to do so and would like to see the loyal GI become a citizen. At the same time, it doesn’t want to reward fraud and have other illegal aliens get the idea that joining the military with bogus documents is a shortcut to citizenship. National security is another concern. Escalante’s experience shows how easy it might be for potential terrorists to join the military illegally and learn combat tactics and lethal skills.”
I can see both sides of this.
On the one hand, Escalante didn’t enter the country illegally by choice. I can’t be upset with him about that.
And it sounds like he is exactly the kind of young man the US would be proud the have as a citizen. He voluntarily put himself in harm’s way in order to serve his adopted home. He served well as a soldier.
On the other hand, he used fake documents in order to be accepted into the military. This is understandably illegal.
I think he did the wrong thing (using fake documents) for the right reason (in order to be allowed to serve this country).
What should be his punnishment or reward?