Denham Introduces H.R. 2377 - The ENLIST Act

WASHINGTON -- Today U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) introduced H.R. 2377 - the Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training (ENLIST) Act, which authorizes the enlistment in the Armed Forces of qualified undocumented immigrants. The bill would provide a way for undocumented immigrants to become Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) to the U.S. through their honorable service and sacrifice by serving in the U.S. military. The ENLIST Act gives an opportunity for qualified undocumented immigrants to serve the nation they seek to become citizens in. 

"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." 

This bill codifies the commitment Denham secured on the floor of the House during debate of the National Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 1960. 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 Mr. Denham’s reforms in the broader package of immigration reform expected this summer. The ENLIST Act represents those reforms.

This bipartisan legislation was introduced with 14 cosponsors. Specifically, the bill will allow qualified undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States on or before December 31, 2011 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.

“Now that I have formally introduced the ENLIST Act in the House, I look forward to proceeding with the commitment from Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Becerra on including my language in any House immigration package," said Rep. Denham. It’s critical that we find bipartisan solutions like my bill to solve our broken immigration system."

Original Cosponsors of the ENLIST Act are:

Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairmen of the House Committee on Armed Services

Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Michael Michaud (D-ME), Ranking Member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Devin Nunes (R-CA)

Juan Vargas (D-CA)

Jeff Duncan (R-SC)

Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)

Mark Amodei (R-NV)

Tim Walz (D-MN)

Steve Southerland (R-FL)

Sam Farr (D-CA)

David Valadao (R-CA)

Mike Thompson (D-CA)

Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)