James Mattis with reporters
Defense Secretary James Mattis meets with reporters at the Pentagon. Defense Department photo

U.S. service members who are a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program cannot be deported, Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters tat the Pentagon Thursday.

“Anyone who’s in the delayed enlistment program or is already signed up and waiting to go into boot camp, anyone on active duty, anyone in the active reserves and anyone with an honorable discharge … will not be subject to any kind of deportation,” the secretary told reporters.

Exceptions would apply if a service member either has committed a serious felony or has received a federal judge’s signed deportation order, Mattis said, adding that he is not aware of either case applying to a U.S. service member.

“I’m working right now with the secretary of Homeland Security,” he said. “We’ve been over [the DACA issue] in great detail.”

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.