AILA Supports the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act

Wednesday, February 26, 2013
George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
202-507-7649 - 202-507-7675 -

Bill should be part of broader immigration reform effort

Washington, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) applauds the introduction last month of H.R. 435, the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act, by Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO).

"AILA urges the President and Congress to enact an immigration reform bill that addresses the many improvements that our immigration system so desperately needs," said Laura Lichter, AILA President. She continued, "Congressman Coffman's bill, the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act, should be made a part of that broader reform effort. The measure provides an opportunity for those who want to serve in our Armed Forces but are not currently eligible. In exchange for showing such commitment to our nation, those enlistees would get the opportunity to become full stakeholders in our society."

The Military Enlistment Opportunity Act broadens the pool of those eligible to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces beyond citizens and lawful permanent residents, and those eligible under the narrow MAVNI provisions. The bill would allow persons who have resided continuously in a lawful status in the United States for at least two years, as well as those who have DHS employment authorization through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or "DACA" program, to enlist. The measure further provides a path to lawful permanent status for both categories of enlistees by amending the current process.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13022646.