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SJR-9 Federal Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act.(2017-2018)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Joint Resolution No. 9


Introduced by Senator Vidak

June 26, 2017


Relative to the federal Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SJR 9, as introduced, Vidak. Federal Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act.
This measure would urge the 115th Congress to pass, and the President of the United States to sign, the federal Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training (ENLIST) Act.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, the United States has never made citizenship a requirement for service in its Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, Congress has seen fit to make military service a way for patriotic individuals from other countries to show allegiance to our flag and become United States citizens; and
WHEREAS, Almost half of Army enlistees in the 1840s were immigrants and more than 660,000 military veterans became citizens through naturalization between 1862 and 2000; and
WHEREAS, Many individuals residing in the United States on student and employment visas have special eligibility to join our Armed Forces and earn citizenship; and
WHEREAS, Many lawful permanent residents serve in our Armed Forces as a means to earn citizenship, as do foreign nationals from the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau; and
WHEREAS, In the 1950s, Congress passed the Lodge-Philbin Act, which allowed the military to recruit from Europe and other nations to fill critical needs; and
WHEREAS, The federal Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training (ENLIST) Act would authorize the enlistment in the Armed Forces of certain undocumented immigrants who are present in the United States without lawful status, but are otherwise qualified for enlistment; and
WHEREAS, The ENLIST Act would provide a mechanism by which such undocumented immigrants, by reason of their honorable service in the Armed Forces, may be lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence; and
WHEREAS, Recruits under the ENLIST Act would be subject to the same screening mechanisms in place for any citizen, foreign national, and noncitizen who is eligible to enlist in the military; and
WHEREAS, These recruits would provide the Armed Forces with a broad talent pool of young men and women, many of whom would have strategically valuable language and cultural competencies; and
WHEREAS, Recruits would be required to fulfill terms of enlistment with honorable discharge or reenlistment in order to receive full lawful permanent resident status; and
WHEREAS, California has the largest share of immigrants in the country and has enacted many pieces of legislation to encourage the continued integration of undocumented immigrants, such as those affectionately referred to as “Dreamers,” into the fabric of our communities; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature of the State of California supports immediate congressional action to pass the federal ENLIST Act; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature urges the President of the United States to sign the federal ENLIST Act; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the author, for appropriate distribution.