The U.S. Army Reserve has launched an investigation into a Hispanic soldier and state Sen. Mike Delph after the soldier wore his uniform at a Statehouse news conference earlier this week.
Delph, a Republican senator from Carmel who has been the center of controversy over his proposed illegal immigration bill, said he expected to be questioned tonight at Fort Harrison.
Delph is a captain and company commander of the Army Reserve's 310th Expeditionary Support Command.
The solider at his news conference, Lt. Col. Ray Mejia, oversees that unit's distribution management center.On Monday, Delph and Mejia held their news conference at the Indiana Statehouse in which Mejia -- a high-ranking Hispanic
-- announced his support of Delph's illegal immigration bill. He used the media spotlight to describe his journey from Mexican immigrant to U.S. citizen by way of a U.S. military program designed to accelerate the citizenship process.
Mejia wore his uniform at the press conference, which could be a violation of military rules. A spokesman for the Army Reserve was not immediately able to confirm the investigation nor answer questions.
Delph said this morning that he and Mejia will accept the consequences.
"I spoke to Lt. Col. Mejia this morning and we feel that the uniform was relevant to how he became a citizen," said Delph, "and to refute the ongoing allegations of racial undertones to this bill.
"If we had to do it over again, we would do the same thing. And if there are military consequences, we both will accept them."
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Delph And Mejia Investigated
Advance Indiana first raised the issue and now the U.S. Army Reserve is launching an investigation into why Lt. Col. Ray Mejia appeared with Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) in full military uniform at a State House press conference to express support for Delph's legislation, which is meant to crack down on employers who hire undocumented aliens. The Star's Dan McFeely reports today that both Mejia and Delph, a Captain in the Army Reserve and Mejia's commanding officer, are being investigated for violating U.S. military code of conduct by having Mejia participate in political activity while dressed in full uniform. As McFeely explains: