House Closes a Door to Military Amnesty, but Senate Remains Open

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See below for an update from FAIR’s Government Relations department on where the military amnesty bill, H.R. 2377, currently stands.

saluteThanks to the hard work of true immigration reformers, on Friday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that he would not allow Representative Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) military amnesty proposal to either be attached as an amendment to the must-pass defense bill or be considered for a vote by itself. 

Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) has been trying to convince the House to pass his ENLIST Act (H.R. 2377), which would grant amnesty to illegal aliens who join the U.S. military. Denham lobbied to insert the ENLIST Act as an amendment to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) when the House Armed Services Committee took it up earlier this month, but it was not added. Since then, Denham has been strategizing to get it passed another way, either as an amendment in the Rules Committee to the NDAA, as an amendment when the NDAA comes to the full House floor, or even as a stand-alone bill.

However, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor dealt a critical blow to those efforts on Friday when Cantor’s spokesman Doug Heye declared, “No proposed ENLIST amendments to NDAA will be made in order.” Heye also said that the Majority Leader would also not allow stand-alone votes on the ENLIST Act. According to the Associated Press, the spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that the Speaker did not disagree with Majority Leader Cantor’s decision.

Nevertheless, Senators could still push military amnesty into the defense bill. At the beginning of May, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated that he was “all for” adding military amnesty to the NDAA. Senator Levin even said the measure could potentially end up incorporated into his committee’s underlying defense policy bill. “I’d like to see it happen,” he said.

Levin has the support of Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who has been trying to sneak amnesty into the NDAA for several years. Today, Durbin, as chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, held a field hearing with illegal aliens enrolled in a junior military academy in order to generate support for military amnesty.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will consider the NDAA this week, and could still insert amnesty directly into the must-pass defense bill, making it harder to remove as the legislative process proceeds. Military amnesty must be opposed, particularly because of the national security challenges and other burdens it places on the military when its personnel is already being drastically reduced.

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Content written by former Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.

5 Comments

  1. avatar

    No amnesty for illegals to be in our Military. That would be adding to the problem that is running wild under the leadership of Obama. We do not need a military filled with Muslim who will turn against us faster than he has because with him as their leader they will have the advantage over our citizens. Block them somehow, what ever it takes.

  2. avatar
    Patricia Smith on

    We are dismissing, through no fault of their own, thousands of American men, regardless of their loyalty and years of true service. That is a fact. At the same time, idiotically, people propose to hand military positions and power to illegals? And who is to say who will obey orders, among admitted lawbreaking foreigners? This is intolerable forfeiture of our nation’s safety, no less. I call such a plan traitorous and condemn all who propose it. I call on loyal Americans to speak now to their representatives; tell them clearly that you will rely on this issue to salute that representative OR condemn that representative. Tell your network of family and friends to put their representatives on notice. Stand up for our existing American service members. Stand up for this country, no other.

  3. avatar

    NO AMNESTY FOR ILLEGALS IN THE MILITARY WE ARE NOT AT WAR. OUR MILITARY IS FOR AMERICAN BORN CITIZENS, NOT ILLEGAL CRIMINALS WHO CROSSED OUR BORDERS WITH OUT GOING THROUGH THE LEGA PROCESS TO ENTER THIS COUNTRY. THAT’S WHAT OBAMA WANTS. AN ARMY OF ILLEGALS HE KNOWS WILL SHOOT AMERICAN CIVILIANS WHEN THE SHTF. NO ********* IN OUR MILITARY!!

    • avatar

      Actually, our military is not for American born citizens only. It never was. Anyone can serve in the U.S military without being a citizen. Our draft requires young men living in the U.S. to sign up regardless of their nationality or. Citizenship. Look it up. It says male citizens and aliens. The question here is if they should get citizenship upon completion of military service. I think, if they volunteer to serve our country, risk their lives for this country, and serve under honorable conditions, they should at a minimum get at least consideration ahead of others on the list to be naturalized.