Sorting Through the Laundry List of ENLIST Act Claims

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Representative Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) is claiming a lot of things about what his ENLIST Act (H.R. 2377) would do if it were to become law.  He’s pushed the ENLIST Act as a stand-alone bill, and now is trying to get it attached as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Let’s take a closer look at three of his claims and compare them with the actual text of the bill he introduced.

DENHAM CLAIM #1:  The ENLIST Act “would apply solely to kids….”

THE FACTS: The bill does not set a maximum age limit.  According to Section 2(a) of H.R. 2377, the ENLIST Act would apply to any alien who was unlawfully present in the United States on December 31, 2011, who has been continuously present in the United States since that date, and who was younger than 15 years of age at the time he/she initially entered the United States.

The only age mentioned is the age at initial entry to the United States.  The ENLIST Act would apply to illegal aliens at whatever age each branch of the armed services are willing to permit; age 35 is the current maximum here.  Currently, a 35-year-old can enlist in the Army or Marines (with an age waiver over the age of 28), a 34-year-old can enlist in the Navy, and 27-year-olds can enlist in the Air Force and Coast Guard.

Is it really fair to consider 35 year-olds “kids”?   Article II of the U.S. Constitution says a 35-year-old can become President of the United States.  That’s a pretty big job the Founders thought was worthy to put on the shoulders of someone Denham apparently deems to be a kid.

DENHAM CLAIM #2:  The ENLIST Act would apply to illegal aliens “who were brought here through no fault of their own…”

THE FACTS: The bill does not specify the conditions under which illegal aliens entered the United States.  Contrary to Denham’s claim, there’s no mention of reason for the illegal alien’s entry into the United States.  Thus, the ENLIST Act applies to those who illegally crossed the border alone.  These unaccompanied minors are illegally crossing the border at increasing rates, as one federal agency reported that the number of unaccompanied illegal alien minors referred to them in just a four month period in 2012 was double the number of unaccompanied minors that were referred over the all previous eight years together. The passage of the ENLIST Act would not only reward unaccompanied minors already in the United States, but would also encourage illegal immigration by more unaccompanied minors.

DENHAM CLAIM #3: The ENLIST Act would allow illegal aliens to “earn legal permanent resident status through their service.”

THE FACTS: The bill gives illegal aliens green cards upon enlisting and makes them immediately eligible for U.S. citizenship.  Section 2(b) of the ENLIST Act provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security “shall” adjust the status of a qualifying  illegal alien under the legislation who enlists in a regular component of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (a green card).

Therefore, the Department of Homeland Security actually grants amnesty upon enlistment, before the illegal alien has even served or finished basic training!  Denham’s assertion that illegal aliens will “earn legal permanent status through their service” is misleading.  Is it fair for an illegal alien to receive legal permanent resident status on the first day of basic training? Representative Denham’s proposal would allow exactly that. Moreover, because Denham’s bill does nothing to alter the current process for expedited naturalization for aliens who join the military during times of active military hostility, the illegal aliens don’t just receive a green card before finishing any service, they are immediately eligible for citizenship.

Representative Denham is peddling his vague language on the Hill in order to grant amnesty to many more illegal aliens than his statements would lead you to believe. The ENLIST Act would put illegal aliens on the fast track to citizenship and convert the armed services into a green card processing agency.  For these reasons, other Members of Congress should not sign up for the ENLIST Act.

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Content written by former Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: FAIR Alert: Military Amnesty’s Next Stop is the House Floor

  2. avatar

    This is a crock. They have been bumping enlisted men in the army, the navy and the air force. These soldiers are like one year away from being able to qualify for retirement benefits. Now they want to use illegals to serve and pay them less money and probably less benefits. This is WRONG! No amnesty and no illegals in our military!!!

  3. avatar

    This law is unneeded. We already have provisions to allow non citizens to enlist and work toward citizenship. Since immigration laws aren’t enforced now, what makes ANYBODY think any new laws will be enforced?

  4. avatar

    Just another way to give another amnesty, once this person would gain citizenship, then the whole family would follow? Where do we get these people we send to Washington to represent us, some are more worried about the illegal immigrants than our own citizens? We need mandatory E-Verify which is the only way to stop illegal immigration!!!!!

  5. avatar

    Funny how illegals are willing to put their kids completely in the hands of Mexican smuggling gangs and yet claim to be worried about the children.

    The media still spinning on the “record deportation” nonsense. How can such a substantial part of the public be so misinformed on this? Because they believe what they read in the press, who should know better or they are deliberately misreporting the truth. Take your pick.

    The president said this in Sept. 28, 2011:

    “The statistics are actually a little deceptive… That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back that’s counted as a deportation.”

    What’s hard to figure out about that. It’s “counted as” a deportation, but it’s clearly not. It never was before. It’s like declaring a guy the new home run king because you started adding triples to his total. They are cooking the books, and all their supporters trot out those “record” numbers to make it look like you can take his word on enforcement. When it’s the opposite.

  6. avatar

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RETARDED. I AM NOT GOING TO GET REWARDED IF I SHOW UP IN GOD DAMN GERMANY OR SWEDEN OR EVEN MEXICO FOR THAT MATTER IF I SHOW UP THERE UNANOUNCED TO THE GOVERNMENT. IM GOING TO GET ESCORTED BACK BY ARMED GUARDS, THEN PROBABLY DO A STINT IN JAIL BECAUSE OF THE ‘INTERNATIONAL LAWS’ I BROKE. IF NOT ONE BEFORE I GET EVEN GEGT BACK TO THE STATES BECAUSE OF THE HARBORING STATES LAWS AS WELL. I WILL NOT GET REWARDED FOR SELLING WEED, I WONT GET REWARDED FOR STEALING, WHY SHOULD THEY GET REWARDED FOR BREAKING OUR LAWS? THIS IS COMPLETLY AFARSE AND THE MINDS, HEARTS, AND NEEDS OF THE ACTUALL AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE ONCE AGAIN BEING IGNORED.