This bill — commonly known as the ENLIST Act — would permit undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before turning 15 years old to join the military. If, after completing their service, those immigrants were honorably discharged, they could then apply for a green card. Securing a green card means they can stay in the U.S.
This opportunity would only be available to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before December 31, 2011. More recent arrivals would not qualify, even if they had not turned 15 when they entered the country. The criteria for arrival and time spent in the U.S. are essentially the same as the DREAM Act, another immigration reform initiative that aims to give undocumented immigrants a path to permanent residency.
In order to meet enlistment requirements to serve their time in the armed forces, applicants must speak English, pass a background check, and have earned a high school diploma.