Here’s Why the ENLIST Act, Amnesty Went Down

This week, the House will vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Conspicuously missing as an amendment to the bill is the ENLIST Act, which would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain amnesty in exchange for military service.

If you’re thinking that amnesty has no place in a defense policy bill, you’re instincts are right.  But a look at the battle that was waged over the past couple weeks to stop this misstep demonstrates that were it not for conservative opposition, that’s precisely what Washington politicians would have done.  

On May 5, the Heritage Action South Central Regional Coordinator, Wade Miller, a Marine combat veteran wrote, “It is both an honor and a benefit to be a part of the military — it certainly should not be treated as a punishment.”  This clarified, from a first hand perspective, how detrimental this move would be for the military.

Beyond the fact that the ENLIST Act and the NDAA are totally unrelated, ENLIST is simply terrible policy, which is why Heritage Action announced on May 6 that we would key vote against the legislation, regardless of how it was packaged or framed.

The following week, Roll Call picked up on our press release on May 14:

An effort to legalize illegal immigrants who join the military sputtered weeks ago in committee when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon declined to put it in his defense-authorization bill. But Heritage Action sent out word Wednesday the proposal better stay dead.

To reemphasize our opposition, we released a video on May 16, which includes a clip of Rep. Jeffrey Denham (R-CA) 34% explaining his ENLIST Act is the “fastest pathway to citizenship.”

At that time, the AP noted the growing conservative opposition to ENLIST:

But in recent weeks prominent conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation, announced their opposition. Heritage Action, the group’s political arm, announced it would include the vote in its ratings on lawmakers and called Denham’s legislation “deplorable.”

“Once again we saw the conservative policy position carry the day in the House.  The ENLIST Act would have had a negative impact on our military and our immigration system,” Heritage Action communications director Dan Holler remarked.  “But Americans understand there are no permanent victories in Washington, so they’ll be watching the Senate closely.”

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11 thoughts on “Here’s Why the ENLIST Act, Amnesty Went Down

  1. With the military currently downsizing, it is more WRONG than ever to allow this for illegals. It takes yet more opportunities from our own citizens.

  2. They have tried this before when I was serving in the military. We have to keep pressure on Congress to assure that this doesn’t evolve in reality.

  3. Why is it, when all the right asks for is to secure the borders so we don’t repeat the lies of the left to Ronald Regan. We continue to watch people pour over the borders? The drug cartels are in full force. Yet the left doesn’t close the borders, but lies as to what they are doing. If, you want to do something about the illegals then secure our borders, then we can work on what needs to be done to reform our immigration laws. We need straight forward laws, yet we keep seeing the left trying to backdoor immigration by hook or crook. No, piggy backing backdoor amendments for work arounds. Play fair, or we won’t play at all. .

  4. Illegal is illegal as is the traitor in our White House. We have laws that the liberals t ignore, all the Progressive want is a bigger Socialist Government and more illegals to vote for Democrats. So Sick we got to get the Incumbents and Socialist Liberal Progressives out of our Government. VOTE IN TERM LIMITS AND STOP VOTER FRAUD! Get rid of the IRS, NSA, EPA, and all the freedom killing regulations. Stop the invasion to destroy our country, the muslims, the illegals. Stop the welfare re-distribution of our hard earned tax dollars. Bring our manufactuing back. Support the laws that protect our freedoms and our country or we will all become slaves to a Socialist Government living in their FEMA Camps!

  5. Seem like Obama want this to happen. Due to fact they will be HIS ARMY! And will attack our citizen. That does not take a dumbie much to figure out.

    • I’m not so sure he thinks he can form his own army with illegals (it seems we already have police and places that could be used as concentration camps by both parties), I think the Democrats see this as a sure way to destroy the Republican party, and they are right. When I see Republicans supporting amnesty I think, you clowns are supporting your own demise. The illegals will vote democratic, and the Republicans will find themselves a party without voters. The Obama administration’s tactic to get amnesty passed is to free illegal criminals, stop deportations, and keep the border and visa’s overstays coming. They figure once there are so many illegals in the country the rest of us will have no choice but be forced to see amnesty granted. If that happens the Democrats will win!!

  6. I am a hardcore conservative however I would wholeheartedly support registration of illegals and work permits only after the borders are secure. What is so abhorrent to the Establishment Republicans about securing the border so we aren’t making policies while thousands of violators a day are pouring over the porous and unsecured borders?

  7. Mr denham is also a trator to promote illegals be allowed into OUR MILITARY when these illegals have no aligance to this country or OUR CONSTITUTION. Just remember what happened at Fort Hood when a muslim shot and killed a dozen men in uniform and wounded many more and Obasturd called it work placeviolence and disarmed military bases and its military personal.

  8. With the middle class being imploded, Buffett and Soros need 660 million Americans in order to sell as much garbage as they used to peddle to 330 million. It’s just basic math for the oligarchs.

  9. As you read these responses, the trend toward almost hysterical opposition is apparent. The frustration and fury at this point in our sixth year of Obama thug land governance is mounting toward a breaking point. If there were funds available to make it happen, we could have an “Occupy the Capitol” movement…oh, I forgot, Obama has made it possible for him to decide if the Secret Service will allow a gathering of people near him. Funny, how this uninformed playboy, dancing on the strings of a shadowy puppet master, has managed so many baby steps towards taking this country away from us or destroying it in the attempt, isn’t it?

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