As the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) makes its way through the House, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) plans to offer his military amnesty bill as an amendment to the bill. The ENLIST Act would allow illegal aliens who enlist and serve in the military to receive a green card. Rep. Denham tried to offer the bill as an amendment to last year's NDAA, but the effort was thwarted in part by NumbersUSA activists.
In an interview last week, Rep. Denham said he would push for a vote on the amendment on “every opportunity I get,” including as an amendment to the NDAA.
“This is an issue where we’ve all identified a problem that deserves a resolution,” Rep. Denham said. “If we can’t even start the immigration debate, with the kids that want to serve in a patriotic fashion, then I think the whole immigration debate is going to be a challenge.
Yesterday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) shot down the proposal. “We’re not doing anything on immigration on the NDAA,” Sen. McCain told The Hill.
“It would not be accepted by the House. I’ve got to have a House agreement; they would never agree to putting that on the NDAA,” McCain said. “If I put it on the defense bill, what happens in the House? The whole bill crashes.
“The defense bill is for defense, not for Dreamers.”
The House Rules Committee is expected to announce which amendments to the NDAA will be eligible for floor votes next week. The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to take up the its version of the bill next week as well.
Updated: Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 12:25pm EDT