House Republicans are quietly working to insert immigration legislation into the text of the Department of Defense authorization bill that would allow so-called DREAMers to obtain permanent legal residency by joining the military, Breitbart News has learned.
The language, which if successful would mark the first effort by House Republicans to provide any form of amnesty since the GOP took control of the House in 2010, has set off a panic among top immigration hawks that the effort could open an immigration Pandora’s box, paving the way for broader legislation.
Sophomore Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of California, a close ally of GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, is leading the push to add the text of his “ENLIST Act” into the National Defense Authorization Act, which could come to the House floor as early as next month.
The effort, which has not previously been reported, is fairly advanced, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte – who killed the proposal as an amendment to last year’s NDAA in a dramatic floor struggle – is weighing whether to approve the maneuver, which would circumvent his committee on one of its key matters of jurisdiction.
“We’re working on it,” Goodlatte said.
Meanwhile, top immigration hawks ripped the proposal as ill-conceived and a clear effort to build momentum for a comprehensive immigration bill.
“If we’re going to put out the bait, which is: come into the U.S., break in, so to speak, smuggle yourself into the military, put on the uniform of the United States, take an oath to uphold our Constitution, which may or may not mean anything to them, and now we’re going to reward you with citizenship — I think it’s just a bizarre thing to do, to reward people for breaking our laws. That’s what amnesty is,” said Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.