Denham Secures Commitment from House Leaders on Immigration Reform for Undocumented Immigrants

Jun 14, 2013 Issues: Immigration

WASHINGTON — On Thursday evening, U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) secured an agreement during debate on the National Defense Authorization Act from Republican and Democratic leaders in the House that they would commit to authorizing the enlistment in the Armed Forces of qualified undocumented immigrants. During debate on an amendment offered by Rep. Denham, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Xavier Becerra (D-CA) entered in to a colloquy where the three gentlemen committed to working together to include Rep. Denham’s amendment in the broader package of immigration reform expected this summer.

“As someone who enlisted and served this country during a time of war, I remember the pride I felt to wear the uniform and cannot think of any better way for these young people, who put their life on the line, to earn the right to fully share in the freedoms of America,” said Rep. Denham. “I believe that anyone who swears an oath to defend our nation and serves out an enlistment term honorably should be entitled to the privileges afforded to Americans.”

Specifically Rep. Denham’s amendment seeks to allow qualified undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States at or under the age of 15 to become Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) to the U.S. through their honorable service and sacrifice by serving in the U.S. military. The agreement on the House floor marks the first time House Republican and Democratic leaders have come together publicly  on the floor of the House to agree on a facet of immigration reform.

“I’m pleased to secure a commitment from Chairmans Goodlatte and Becerra on including my language in any House immigration package," added Rep. Denham. "It’s critical that we find bipartisan consensus to solve our broken immigration system."

Video of the exchange can be found here.