A measure in Congress to offer permanent residency to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children in exchange for military service has the support of an Illinois congressman. U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Chicago) says the ENLIST Act – proposed by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-California) – would be a small victory for immigrant rights, comparing it to the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
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“It allows a pathway to citizenship for those who want to serve in the armed forces,” Gutierrez said. “It allows a pathway to legalization and something more than simply DACA for those who are in DACA and those who aren’t in DACA.” The bill could be offered as an amendment to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
Gutierrez says the bill, by itself, is insufficient protection for those who came to the U.S. when they were young, but hopes passing it would lead to further cooperation from Republicans on passing comprehensive immigration reform.