- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2016

Immigrant-rights advocates were stunned but pleased after Donald Trump opened the door Wednesday for a select group of illegal immigrants to get on a path to citizenship by joining the military.

Speaking at a military forum, Mr. Trump said so-called Dreamers — the young adult illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — could, with proper vetting, be allowed to join the military.

The Pentagon is already pioneering that policy, allowing Dreamers who qualified for President Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty to join up if they have special skills, such as knowledge of a language that is considered critical to national security.

“That’s a very special situation,” Mr. Trump said.

Cesar Vargas, director of the Dream Action Coalition, said that sounded like a welcome shift in tone from the GOP presidential nominee, and said Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should embrace the same policy.

Still, Mr. Vargas said Mr. Trump needs to do more if he’s to erase a year’s worth of harsh rhetoric against illegal immigrants.

“He must change not only his tone but also present concrete policies to modernize our broken immigration system, including providing a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants,” Mr. Vargas said.

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