To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the May 19 article “GOP congressman pushes for immigration vote,” which references HR 2237, the ENLIST Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham.
While the House of Representatives has yet to move on much-needed immigration reform, there is one easy place to start: The ENLIST Act, which would allow for undocumented immigrants who were brought here before age 15 and are otherwise qualified, to enlist into one of our military branches. Upon honorable discharge from their service, these individuals would then be granted legal permanent resident status, commonly known as a green card.
While in U.S. Army basic training, I trained alongside first- and second-generation immigrants from Uganda, Mexico, Jamaica, Egypt and Ukraine, many of whom were entering the Special Forces qualification program. They were willing to put their lives on the line to fight for our country’s ideals in some of the most dangerous places in the world. If taking an oath to defend our Constitution and putting one’s life on the line to protect America does not qualify one for permanent residency in the U.S., then I’m afraid our country has gone astray.
The ENLIST Act specifically deals with young men and women who did not decide to immigrate here, but who now call this country home and are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect it. The least we can do is offer a green card for those who fight for the red, white and blue.