Thursday, May 29, 2014

Whither Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Push for path to citizenship through military service


Leslie Berestein Rojas reports on a new, and very narrow immigration reform bill floated in the U.S. Congress.  Last year, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) introduced what's known as the ENLIST Act. It proposes amending the U.S. military code to allow young immigrants who arrived in this country by age 15 to serve in the armed forces, in exchange for legal status and a path to citizenship. Last week, Denham introduced his measure as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act — a move struck down by the House Rules Committee. Still, the bill garnered bipartisan support, with about 50 co-sponsors split almost evenly along party lines. Immigrant advocates have supported the bill. It is not the first time a military-only legalization bill has surfaced. But it’s the first time one has garnered this much support from immigrant advocates. In 2012, a similar bill called the ARMS Act came and went with little ado — and with far less support from the immigrant rights lobby.


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