Cantor won’t rule out floor vote on bill that would let DREAMers enlist in military

posted at 2:41 pm on May 22, 2014 by Allahpundit

Last week, to appease the border hawks who are making him sweat in his primary race, he ruled out adding the ENLIST Act as an amendment to the big defense bill that the House will be voting on soon. That was curious because it’s common knowledge that Cantor supports ENLIST. If you want to enact it, what better way than to attach it to important legislation that’s guaranteed to pass in order to keep the Pentagon funded? Cantor offered no explanation for his change of heart, but I’m going to go ahead and be cynical by assuming that that primary race and those border hawks had something to do with it.

So that’s the end of ENLIST, right? Not quite:

In an interview with POLITICO, Cantor said he backs the policy merits of the legislation from Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), which would give a path to legal permanent residency for immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

“If you’ve got a kid that was brought here by their parents — unbeknownst to the child — and that they’ve grown up in this country and not known any other, and they want to serve in our military, they ought to be allowed to do that and then have the ability to become a citizen after that kind of service,” Cantor said a brief interview Wednesday evening…

Cantor, who controls the floor schedule, did not rule out a potential standalone vote on the ENLIST Act later this year, saying that the lawmakers involved with the bill are “still working on language” and that “no decisions have been made” on potential floor action…

Liberal activists convened a conference call earlier Wednesday to slam Cantor over immigration. “Eric Cantor is the No. 1 guy standing between the American people and immigration reform,” Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, said on the call, according to the Associated Press.

Translation: Sure, ENLIST is still on the table — just as soon as Cantor’s primary is over and he’s out of danger. That’s why ENLIST is being kept out of the defense bill, not because of any policy or procedural issue but because keeping it live and in play over the last few weeks of the campaign could give Cantor’s challenger, Dave Brat, a shot. Once Cantor and other House Republicans are past the primaries in June, it’s full speed ahead on immigration reform. In fact, Haley Barbour assured HuffPo today that Boehner really is committed to passing something but that “they don’t have the votes today” — emphasis, I suspect, on “today.” Check back in a month, after grassroots conservatives have duly re-nominated all of these guys for another two years, and see if he has the votes then.

ENLIST is actually a (no pun intended) dream vehicle for the GOP to make something happen this year on immigration. If Boehner takes the caucus’s temperature and finds that they’re willing to bite the bullet on comprehensive amnesty, he could pass ENLIST during the lame-duck session, go to conference with the Senate in it, quietly agree with Reid and Schumer to expand ENLIST so that it includes amnesty measures for a broader class of illegals, and then pass that in the House. If, on the other hand, he gets the sense from the caucus that they’ll only tolerate a small immigration measure right now in the name of PR and outreach to Latinos, ENLIST would be perfect, giving sympathetic DREAMers a chance to earn their citizenship by serving in the armed forces. Would Reid and Schumer agree to a standalone ENLIST bill, though? If you’re a Democrat hellbent on comprehensive reform, it’s mighty risky to let Republicans pass a small measure like ENLIST: The GOP might turn around afterward, having (somewhat) achieved its goal of proving its good faith on reform, and decide that they’re not going to pass anything else on amnesty for the rest of Obama’s term. That’s a worst-case scenario for Dems, since it would leave only a small portion of illegals on the citizenship track while giving Republicans something to point to and crow about the next time they’re challenged as do-nothings on amnesty. On the other hand, if Reid and Schumer declare that ENLIST is dead in the Senate, then suddenly they’re the ones who are blocking immigration reform. What’s their play here?

While you mull that over, here’s House conservative Jeb Hensarling giving Boehner and Cantor something to think about by refusing to rule out a run for Speaker next year. Hmmmmm.


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Review of book not written:

Many years ago, when the ties between Latin American socialists and the Middle Eastern Islamic countries were just being knotted together, several families went “undercover” and entered the US illegally, possibly with children already, certainly having more children afterwards.

No specific operational plan was needed or followed (my author believes that complexity theory applies even in fiction; multi-decade detailed conspiracies work only on the big screen), but their handlers were betting that sometime in the future, the US would do something they could exploit.

Enter the DREAM and ENLIST acts.

You write the rest.

AesopFan on May 22, 2014 at 4:54 PM

We’re talking about children who were brought here with their parents…I can’t speak to how much choice they had in the matter of violating our sovereignty, but doubt it was very much.

changer1701 on May 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

We’re not talking about “children. we’re talking about people old enough to serve in the military. And, you don’t think they are still violating OUR sovereignty?? They are able to serve in the military (allegedly) but they aren’t able to get on a plane or a bus and go back to the country they are actually citizens of??

Yeah … totally guiltless little kiddies, there … They can join our military but they can’t join their own citizens. Yep.

They are spitting on our sovereignty every minute they refuse to go to a land they are legal in. And they are adults, already, since we don’t have child armies.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 22, 2014 at 4:55 PM

They will end up with the worst jobs in the military because of the difficulty for them to get a clearance.

Sven on May 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Just for the record, this is my position on immigration (including but not limited to, in case I forgot something here; I could sprinkle in some “just abouts” and “probablys” and “most likelys” but that doesn’t make for a stirring manifesto):

The United States of America, for all its faults, is still the most free, most productive, most generous, and most bestest nation in all of history.

I believe that everyone who has emigrated to America (without nefarious motives) is better off for being here; they seem to agree, because there are a lot of them, and they don’t go home unless forced.

I appreciate the people who come here, work hard, lead otherwise honest lives, and are grateful for the opportunities and benefits of being here, which they wouldn’t have in their own countries or they would have stayed there.

I am sorry that aliens who came here illegally felt like that was their preferred option, because the legal route is too slow, too ponderous, and too complex (which it is); also too expensive, but I don’t know how the official costs relate to the costs of coyote smuggler’s fees, getting raped or beaten or robbed, and the overhead costs of staying “in the shadows” (those costs are declining in many States, however).

I believe that all immigrants, legal and illegal, would be better citizens if they quit idolizing the nation they left, and started appreciating the nation they came to; and if the US citizens who are idolizing every country and culture other than their own would recognize the folly and ingratitude of their position (this is not “my country right or wrong”; after all, “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” and there is plenty to criticize and correct in America; however, see the first assertion).

I wish that the politicians would quit posturing, pandering, preening, and letting themselves be rolled by the lobbyists and big-donors, and get on with simplifying the legal immigration procedures to facilitate the entry of honest, hardworking, productive immigrants — from any country — provided that they obey all laws and pay all taxes and fees that are incumbent on existing citizens before they get any benefits (kind of like in-state vs out-of-state tuition; don’t sidetrack on the analogy, please).

We didn’t have a mass-immigration problem until the government started meddling in it (see Wiki article quoted above) and until the US was shown to be the most productive economy and the most liberal (classic sense) polity in the world, and we won’t be able to fix it until the labor, tax, and welfare systems are also reformed to make this a rational free-market economy (with minimum protective regulation) so that immigrant supply and demand balances automatically.

AesopFan on May 22, 2014 at 5:18 PM

so that immigrant supply and demand balances automatically.

AesopFan on May 22, 2014 at 5:18 PM

We hear a lot from conservatives about the sanctity of market forces and supply and demand. Why does that stop when it comes to the American worker. As long as market forces favor employers we’re more than happy to let that market work, but when event shift to favoring employees we hear many conservatives demand that the government imports more immigrants to nullify that demand? Why do we wonder why wages have been stagnant under these circumstances?

DFCtomm on May 22, 2014 at 5:23 PM

As long as market forces favor employers we’re more than happy to let that market work, but when event shift to favoring employees we hear many conservatives demand that the government imports more immigrants to nullify that demand?

Which conservatives would you be referring to?

Recon5 on May 22, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Those heartless bastards! They are only considering the children of those who were willing to lie, cheat and steal their way into the U.S.! How about those children whose parent had the principles and morals not to do so!

Shouldn’t those children also be granted citizenship? Why penalize those children?

LouisianaLightning on May 22, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Which conservatives would you be referring to?

Recon5 on May 22, 2014 at 5:47 PM

You want a list? You’ve never heard someone defend free markets and then demand increased legal immigration simply because businesses have stated they need the (cheap) labor. If you haven’t then you haven’t been around here very long.

DFCtomm on May 22, 2014 at 5:55 PM

They will end up with the worst jobs in the military because of the difficulty for them to get a clearance.

Sven on May 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Not if clearances are being issued by the groups that okayed Snowden and Major Workplace-Violence.

AesopFan on May 22, 2014 at 5:58 PM

There were several articles recently about the fact that only 1 in 5 who want to join the U.S. military is being accepted. So, if we begin letting illegal aliens enlist, it will drive the percentage of citizens enlisting even lower. just another example of illegal aliens given preference over U.S. citizens.

bw222 on May 22, 2014 at 7:15 PM

I actually support this-as long as it has some VERY rigid, NON-NEGOTIABLE conditions.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Didn’t learn much from the 1986 amnesty, did you Twerp?

bw222 on May 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

The instant ENLIST is passed, Democrats and illegal alien advocates will begin screeching how unfair it is to “dreamers” who can’t pass the physical or otherwise are barred from enlisting.

novaculus on May 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Yup. At least someone learned from the 1986 amnesty.

bw222 on May 22, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Where does it say these kids will get priority and bump other people out from joining the Military? Nothing anywhere says they will get a priority enlistment over Citizens.

Johnnyreb on May 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Compare what happens in Kalifornia when a U.S. citizen with no drivers license or insurance causes a traffic accident and an illegal alien without a drivers license or insurance causes an accident. Same thing.

You claim to be retired Navy and don’t know how things work. I figured it out after one tour in the Air Force.

bw222 on May 22, 2014 at 7:32 PM

As a Retired Navy man I am in favor of this. Let them get some skin in the game and let them serve the Country. That would prove to me that these kids are serious hard working people and want to serve their Country and not just be on the dole.

Johnnyreb

And as a retired Navy man, you should be ashamed of yourself. You should want those spots going to AMERICAN citizens, of which there is no shortage of qualified applicants.

And btw, this isn’t “their country”. Their country is the one they left.

If we followed the ‘through no fault of their own” tenet then our legal system would be in shambles.

Wigglesworth

Thank you. It’s a bogus argument that won’t fly in any other context, yet for some reason, a lot of folks will bend over backwards to suspend disbelief in accepting this nonsense as a rational argument when it comes to illegal aliens. Try telling the government they can’t take an American kid’s home away because it wasn’t his fault his parents didn’t pay their taxes and see how far that gets you, lol.

As much as I hate Amnesty, giving the illegals this path to citizenship may be a good way to deal with this issue politically.

thuja

And by doing so, you’ve implicitly admitted that there’s nothing wrong with them being here, which means you have no reason to be against any other amnesty. So no, it doesn’t address the issue politically. It makes it worse. Never mind the idea that we have to do SOME kind of amnesty or we’ll pay is nonsense to begin with. The BEST way to deal with this issue politically is to stand up for American citizens instead of foreign citizens and the Chamber of Commerce.

xblade on May 22, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Once again, where in the law does it say they will get preferential treatment to enlist?

Johnnyreb on May 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM

You claim to be a Navy retiree and you actually believe affirmative action doesn’t exist in today’s military? Everything in the military isn’t run by official regs. Did you serve on the Merrimack?

bw222 on May 22, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Shouldn’t those children also be granted citizenship? Why penalize those children?

LouisianaLightning

And what about the kids in Guatemala, Africa, etc whose parents didn’t sneak them into this country illegally? Why should they have to suffer because they’re living in poverty through no fault of their own? We should let all the children of the world come here. Don’t want to punish them for the actions of their parents you know.

xblade on May 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

More click bait from the big A. Immigration reform is not going to happen in this session. The GOP rank and file warned the leadership during the shutdown over this. This is the only issue that would coast the entire GOP house their jobs. That’s right, the House Republicans would decap the leadership if they brought this to the floor for a vote. This is another example of the D.C. shuffle. I’m sure the Chamber of Commence is very happy.

flackcatcher on May 22, 2014 at 7:54 PM

flackcatcher on May 22, 2014 at 7:54 PM
cost…(not enough sleep.)

flackcatcher on May 22, 2014 at 7:58 PM

…cross your legs Cantor!

KOOLAID2 on May 22, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Cantor is a “genteel” a-hole.

A weak-kneed ruinous coward.

A lot of that in the Republican Pretty Party.

Sherman1864 on May 23, 2014 at 12:08 AM

VA-7 PLEASE vote this man out. I haven’t voted for him in years. He is out for himself.

stop2think on May 23, 2014 at 6:51 AM

The U.S. military has been allowing non USC enlistees since the Revolutionary War. There is even a provision in federal law that dates back to at least WWII allowing an illegal immigrant who lied to get into the military to become a USC if they served honorably during war time and possess good moral character (excluding the fact they are here illegally). The ENLIST Act is not something new and has existed throughout the history of many country’s Armed Forces. The French Foreign Legion has for years allowed non French citizens to serve in the military and earn citizenship. BUT, novaculus is right, once the applicants are unable to qualify for military service because they lack a high school diploma or have a low ASVAB score the libs will be screaming discrimination.

10thamendment on May 23, 2014 at 7:14 AM

The U.S. military has been allowing non USC enlistees since the Revolutionary War.

10thamendment on May 23, 2014 at 7:14 AM

But not people who are illegal immigrants. That’s new.

Plus, we won’t ‘conscience’ not allowing their families to stay once a son or daughter has served.

The politicians are being disingenuous here – they are just looking for amnesty thorough the backdoor. Don’t be a chump!

LilyBart on May 23, 2014 at 8:13 AM

These Republicans who wish to pass amnesty know they can be removed from office in Novemeber, right?

skilaki on May 23, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Dear GOP:

No, no, no, no, no. If you do this, you lose my vote. Now and forevermore. No. No amnesty, no workaround amnesty, no amnesty.

If illegal aliens are in the US under the age of anything, send them home. No amnesty, no workaround amnesty, no amnesty.

That includes the hundreds of thousands of little children being shuffled over our border because they have utterly irresponsible parents too cowardly to go home and take care of them.

Lourdes on May 23, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Translation: Sure, ENLIST is still on the table — just as soon as Cantor’s primary is over and he’s out of danger.

Exactly.

Cantor is a back-stabber.

David Blue on May 23, 2014 at 9:38 AM

P.S.:

To everyone who holds an elected office in the USA — you were elected by US citizens to represent US citizens.

Stop representing foreign nationals and do your jobs.

Lourdes on May 23, 2014 at 9:39 AM

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