This bill — known as the ENLIST Act — would permit unauthorized 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. 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.
This opportunity would only be available to unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before December 31, 2012. 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 unauthorized immigrants a path to permanent residency.
The bill's full title is the Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act.