Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Peter King (R-NY) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) have teamed up to introduce the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act.
The bill authorizes eligible individuals, including young undocumented immigrants who entered America as children, to achieve legal permanent resident status by serving honorably in the United States military for a minimum of five years. The bipartisan bill also strengthens military readiness by providing the military with an expanded applicant pool that desires to serve.
More specifically, the legislation also expands enlistment eligibility to include immigrants who have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least two years, have never committed a crime, and have successfully passed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ process to attain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status.
“I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Military Enlistment Opportunity Act," Duckworth said. "Our legislation creates a fair pathway for eligible undocumented immigrants to earn legal permanent status through honorable military service. Young people brought to America as children, and for whom America is their only home, deserve the opportunity to pursue citizenship.
"This is especially true for young immigrants that serve in uniform," he continued. "When these Americans step forward and lay their lives on the line to defend our nation, they should earn the right to legally live in the very country they’re defending. I believe the immigrant experience is the American experience. Congress should advance our bipartisan legislation to ensure future generations of young immigrants have the same opportunity I had to proudly serve our nation in uniform."