ENLIST Act Activist Toolkit

The ENLIST Act (H.R. 60) would permit certain illegal immigrants to serve in the military and grant them near-instant citizenship. Some members of Congress are pushing the radical idea of granting  illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors — known as DREAMers —  a path to instant citizenship by suggesting it is good for our military.

Make no mistake, this doesn’t help our military preparedness. It is a scheme to normalize amnesty for illegal immigration and essentially codify Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty.  

By allowing illegal immigrants to sign up for the armed forces, the government is granting them, a) pardon for violating the law, b) full military benefits, c) lawful permanent resident status in the U.S., and d) a back-door promise of instant citizenship. If enacted, this policy would provide citizenship within a few months to unlawful immigrant children of every foreign nation.

The purpose of this bill is NOT to help gain more recruits to the military, but to keep alive Obama-era policies that give certain unlawful immigrants an instant green card.

Introduced by Jeff Denham (R-CA-10), the bill has more than 200 co-sponsors, including 100 House Republicans. The legislation is gaining momentum with co-sponsors and may be added to the must-pass NDAA later this year.

Conservative activists must rise up and demand conservative lawmakers remove their name from the co-sponsor list to slow down the bill’s momentum.

Key Talking Points:

  • The ENLIST Act undermines the military by unnecessarily dragging the entire immigration debate into U.S. military policy.
  • By allowing unlawful immigrants to sign up for the armed forces, the government is granting them a pardon for violating the law, the full battery of military benefits, lawful permanent resident status in the U.S., and a back-door promise of instant citizenship.
  • The ENLIST Act further damages our broken immigration system by putting those who violated the law ahead of those who want to come to the U.S. legally.  

The ENLIST Act is a way to keep the Obama Administration’s policies alive by offering a path for amnesty to the estimated 1.7 million unlawful minors who are currently in legal limbo.

Top Priority Members

Name District Twitter Handle DC Office Phone #
Jim Banks IN03 @RepJimBanks 202-225-4436
Jody Hice GA10 @CongressmenHice 202-225-4101
Alexander Mooney WV02 @RepAlexMooney 202-225-2711
Steve Pearce NM02 @RepStevePearce 202-225-2365
Ted Yoho FL03 @RepTedYoho 202-225-5744
Tom Garrett VA05 @Rep_Tom_Garrett 202-225-4711
Morgan Griffith VA09 @RepMGriffith 202-225-3861
David Schweikert AZ06 @RepDavid 202-225-2190
Mike Gallagher WI08 @RepGallagher 202-225-5665
Scott Tipton CO03 @RepTipton 202-225-4761

Priority Members

Name District Twitter Handle DC Office Phone #
Jimmy Duncan TN02 @RepJohnDuncanJr 202-225-5435
Bill Huizenga MI02 @RepHuizenga 202-225-4401
Jason Lewis MN02 @RepJasonLewis 202-225-2271
Mia Love UT04 @RepMiaLove 202-225-3011
Andy Barr KY06 @RepAndyBarr 202-225-4706
Rob Bishop UT01 @RepRobBishop 202-225-0453
Trey Gowdy SC04 @TGowdySC 202-225-6030
Clay Higgins LA03 @RepClayHiggins 202-225-2031
Ted Poe TX02 @JudgeTedPoe 202-225-6565
Jason Smith MO08 @RepJasonSmith 202-225-4404
Joe Barton TX06 @RepJoeBarton 202-225-2002
Lloyd Smucker PA16 @RepSmucker 202-225-2411

 

(Make sure to insert the twitter handle of your Senator)

General Tweets:

Click to tweet: The #ENLISTAct is not immigration reform and doesn’t help our military preparedness.

Click to tweet: The #ENLISTAct keeps alive Obama Admin policies that give unlawful immigrants an instant green card & promises near-instant citizenship

Click to tweet: The #ENLISTAct is a scheme to normalize amnesty for illegal immigration and essentially codify Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty.

If your member is a co-sponsor:

Click to tweet: @REPNAME the #ENLISTAct gives unlawful immigrants a near-instant  citizenship. Remove your name as a co-sponsor!

Click to tweet: The purpose of the #ENLISTAct is NOT to help gain more recruits to the military, but backdoor Amnesty. @REPNAME remove your co-sponsor

Click to tweet: The #ENLISTAct essentially codify Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty. Remove your name as a co-sponsor @REPNAME

Click to tweet: @REPNAME remove your name as co-sponsor on the #ENLISTAct today!

These are notes to use when calling your member of Congress. You can find their phone number on the Heritage Action Dashboard.

Hi, I’m [NAME] from [District].

The House of Representatives is considering a bill to give illegal immigrants amnesty if they join the military. Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training (ENLIST) Act (H.R. 60) would allow certain illegal immigrants to receive lawful permanent resident status in exchange for military service.

The ENLIST Act does nothing to advance U.S. national security objectives. In fact, this bill undermines the military by unnecessarily dragging the entire immigration debate into U.S. military policy.

In addition, the ENLIST Act further damages our broken immigration system by putting those who violated the law ahead of those who want to come to the U.S. legally.

Please oppose the ENLIST Act.

Below is a sample letter to the editor. We encourage you to adapt and personalize it. Heritage Action Regional Coordinators are always here to help edit your letter and get it published.

Congressman X, Oppose Military Amnesty

Congressman [X] currently supports a bill named the Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training (ENLIST) Act (H.R. 60). On the surface this bill seems like a harmless idea; the U.S. military receives more troops and those who recently immigrated to our country become eligible to serve.

Proponents of this bill argue that both the military and our immigration system benefit from this legislation, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  

The ENLIST Act would allow illegal immigrants to receive lawful permanent resident status in exchange for military service, aka, military amnesty.

The legislation does nothing to advance U.S. national security objectives. In fact, it undermines the military by unnecessarily dragging the controversial immigration debate into the U.S. military and the brave men and women who serve it.

The ENLIST Act also damages our already broken immigration system by putting those who violated the law ahead of those who want to come to our country legally.

Congressman [X] should respect our military and the rule of law by removing his name from the cosponsor list and opposing the ENLIST Act.

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Heritage Action Supports Rep. Pete Olson’s Civil Rights Uniformity Act

This Wednesday Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) was joined by Reps. Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Brian Babin (R-TX) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) in introducing the Civil Rights Uniformity Act (H.R. 2796). This legislation would prevent all references to the words “sex” or “gender” from being misinterpreted to mean “gender identity” in federal civil rights law, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, Obamacare, and other laws. This bill affirms that when Congress passed civil rights law, the purpose was to protect against discrimination when it comes to a person’s objective biological sex, not a subjective, self-declared “gender identity.”

On May 13, 2016, the Obama administration’s Department of Education and Department of Justice issued a joint “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students, declaring that the agencies would “treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.” The guidance directed all educational institutions that receive federal funds to allow transgender students to use showers, bathrooms, lockers, dorms, and joint athletic teams that correspond to their subjective, self-declared gender identity, rather than their objective biological sex defined on their birth certificate.  

On August 21, 2016, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the administration’s attempts to redefine sex as unlawful and blocked implementation of the directive ruling. Judge O’Connor ruled that the administration exceeded its authority under Title IX by not allowing the public the proper time to comment and by reinterpreting the law against the will of Congress. According to O’Connor, “It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex…meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”   

The Obama administration’s unilateral decision to redefine federal law for political purposes imposed a one-size-fits-all policy on every school in the country. It blatantly undermined the rule of law, separation of powers, and federalism while threatening the safety and privacy of young women.

The Trump administration took positive steps forward in addressing the problem by rescinding the Obama guidance on February 22, 2017, but unfortunately this decision was limited to Title IX and the education community. The Trump administration should extend this decision to every area where federal agencies have imposed new “gender identity” rules under the Obama administration, including employment, housing and shelters, business regulation, and health care.

More importantly, Congress must codify this clarification into federal law to prevent future administrations from undermining the legislative branch once again. Ryan Anderson, Ph. D., Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, gives further guidance, writing that “Congress should make such administrative actions permanent. The Civil Rights Uniformity Act would:

“have the benefit of undoing the past and current abuses of Title IX, as well as preventing future abuses of other civil rights law.

“Passing the Civil Rights Uniformity Act would ensure that unelected bureaucrats and judges would not get to unilaterally reshape policy affecting women and girls. It would allow schools to continue providing separate bathroom and locker room facilities and sports teams based on biological sex, not gender identity.

“It also would address other unilateral Obama-era “gender identity” reinterpretations in health care, emergency shelters, housing, and employment. At the same time, such legislation would properly leave states and private entities entirely free to provide nuanced, sensitive, and reasonable accommodations of people who identify as transgender.”

Reiterating that “sex” and “gender” refer to objective biology, rather than subjective, self-professed “gender identity” in all federal anti-discrimination statutes, is the most permanent and comprehensive response to the radical left’s transgender policy agenda. Congress should reassert its constitutional authority, defend the rule of law and federalism, and protect the safety and privacy of young women by passing the Civil Rights Uniformity Act.

***Heritage Action supports the legislation, encourages Representatives and Senators to support it, and reserves the right to key vote in the future.***

 

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Heritage Action Supports Rep. Phil Roe’s Employee Rights Act

This month, Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) introduced the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723). This legislation would protect workers from union pressure by putting power in the hands of employees and making union leaders more accountable to their members. As the Heritage Foundation notes, if union bosses “were angels, such changes would be unnecessary” but “since they are not” new protections are necessary.

Heritage explains the legislation would guarantee employees the rights to:

  •         Vote privately in a secret ballot election before forming a union;
  •         Opt out of having their personal contact information provided to a union during an organizing drive;
  •         Hear from employers at least 40 days prior to voting in a union election;
  •         Vote in a secret ballot election before accepting a contract or going on strike;
  •         Vote regularly on re-electing their union;
  •         Decide whether their union can spend their dues on matters unrelated to collective bargaining; and,
  •         Be free from union interference or extortion in exercising their legal rights.

Workers should not be pressured or coerced by unions or union bosses to take actions that undermine their rights. Protecting the voting rights of employees is essential:

“Under general union representation, employees relinquish their individual negotiating authority to a union. The union becomes the sole representative of the employees in negotiations with their employer. Unionized employers must negotiate employment terms with the union and the union alone. They may not bargain with individual workers.”

Though the purpose of unions is ostensibly to protect workers, they often fail to do so because they are motivated by the “institutional objectives” of expanding in size, income and influence. They want “contracts that protect their institutional powers.” When the interests of unions come in conflict with the interests of workers, unions often make decisions that benefit them rather than employees. In an effort to expand power and influence, unions discourage secret ballot elections or work to eliminate them altogether; this results in the loss of privacy benefits for workers. Unions can also call for a strike without first consulting workers.

Workers deserve a say in decisions that put their jobs at risk. The Employee Rights Act would amend this by requiring a secret ballot vote before a union can call a strike. Furthermore, the bill would solidify paycheck protection provisions, provide a mechanism for union re-certification, and finally criminalize union threats under federal law.

David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow in Labor Markets and Trade in the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation, issued this statement:

“All union members deserve the protection of secret ballots and reasonable choice over who represents them. Ninety-four percent of union members are represented by unions for whom they never voted.  Let the dues-payers decide whether their union is an effective advocate for them or not. Competent, worker-focused union leadership has nothing to fear from members’ freedom to choose.”

The Employee Rights Act would solve many problems workers face today, including problems enshrined in current labor law. The bill would help restore a balance of power in the workplace from unions to workers and help ensure labor unions best serve the interest of employees, not union bosses.

***Heritage Action supports the legislation, encourages Representatives to support it, and reserves the right to key vote in the future.***

 

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Heritage Action Supports Rep. Mike Kelly and Sen. Mike Enzi’s Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act

Last month, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881 & S. 811). This legislation would prohibit the federal government, and state governments who receive certain federal funding, from discriminating against a child welfare service provider that serves families and children according to their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Child welfare providers, including private and faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, who believe every child deserves a mom and a dad would be fully protected under this bill.

Ryan Anderson, Ph. D., Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, and Sarah Torre, visiting fellow in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, write:

“There’s no shortage of kids who need help. Every year about 400,000 children spend time in our nation’s foster care system, with roughly 100,000 eligible for adoption. Many bounce from home to home and are never adopted. Many will “age-out” of foster care, facing increased risk for low academic achievement and poverty.

“The efforts of faith-based organizations and the work of more than 1,000 private, licensed foster care and adoption providers across the United States are helping to increase the number of children adopted every year. Private providers handle roughly a quarter of the domestic adoptions by non-relatives that occur in the United States. Faith-based agencies also provide spiritual, emotional and relational support to families that seek to adopt or become foster parents, which they are less likely to receive from state-run agencies.”

Over the past few years, faith-based organizations who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman have been under attack. In 2014, then President Barack Obama bypassed Congress and issued an executive order elevating sexual orientation and gender identity to special protected status for the purpose of federal grants and contracts. In June 2015, the Supreme Court redefined marriage throughout the country by mandating government entities treat same-sex relationships as marriages.

Religious liberty advocates are hopeful President Trump will fulfill his campaign promise and reverse the Obama Administration’s actions on religious liberty. But sadly, his most recent executive order on “free speech and religious liberty” fails to address the major threats to religious liberty, including protection for faith-based organizations who provide child welfare services.

While limited in scope, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act would be a significant first step toward protecting the rights of organizations to carry out their services according to their religiously informed beliefs about marriage. Not only is this policy common sense, it is essential for the thousands of children who deserve stable homes and families.

Couples who would rather work with state-run agencies or providers without religious convictions are free to do so. This legislation would not prevent secular child welfare providers from continuing their valuable services in any way.   

Summarizing the core argument for the bill, Ryan Anderson issued this statement:

“No adoption agency should be penalized by the state because they work to find children homes with a married mom and dad. Shutting down agencies or disqualifying them from government programs because they believe kids deserve both a mom and a dad does nothing to help children in need. All it does is score a point for LGBT activists using children as pawns in their culture war. We need as many adoption and foster care agencies working for kids as possible. But there is no need to force them to embrace LGBT orthodoxy.”

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act prioritizes children over politics. It protects and empowers Americans who have dedicated their lives to give the most vulnerable in our society – those without a family – the father and mother they deserve.

***Heritage Action supports the legislation, encourages Representatives and Senators to support it, and reserves the right to key vote in the future.***

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Heritage Action Supports Rep. Mark Walker and Sen. Steve Daines’ Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act

Earlier this year, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act (H.R. 719 & S. 221). This legislation would allow states to opt out of programs that fall under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) — formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) — and repurpose those federal funds on a consolidated basis “to advance the educational policy of the State.”

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump promised to return educational decision making back to the state and local level by ending common core and prompting school choice. A-PLUS would go a long way in fulfilling this promise by potentially transferring $23 billion in funding that currently goes to ineffective and duplicative federal programs authorized by ESSA, to state-run educational programs that better target the needs of local communities.

According to Lindsey Burke, Director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, the A-PLUS Act would:

“Give flexibility to states and local communities, reduce administrative costs and the federal compliance burden associated with accessing federal education funding; and free states and localities from their role as compliance entities subordinate to the federal government, making them accountable to parents and taxpayers instead.”

State and local governments finance 90 percent of all K-12 education spending but must comply with burdensome federal mandates and regulations or risk losing billions in federal funding. This federal overreach hinders the ability of state and local governments from engaging in innovative educational initiatives, such as school choice programs like the successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

School choice programs put parents, not federal bureaucrats or unions, in charge of their children’s education and makes local schools more accountable to parents and taxpayers. The A-PLUS Act would free up states through additional resources and less federal mandates, allowing them to pursue student-centered education reforms. Burke writes:

“Language within the A-PLUS proposal explicitly recognizes that accountability is strengthened when directed toward parents. Allowing states to put their dollars toward state and locally determined priorities would enable them to respond more directly to parents and taxpayers. Specifically, and with conservative leadership at the helm in most states, it would create space for states to establish and grow choice-based options for families—the ultimate accountability mechanism.”

With a unified Republican government and the vast majority of House Republicans having already voted for A-PLUS last session, now is the time for Congress to begin to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.

***Heritage Action supports the legislation, encourages Representatives and Senators to support it, and reserves the right to key vote in the future.***

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