If the federal government were a person, and if Congress were subject to the laws they create, they would face fines, prison, or both for many of their actions.  The ENLIST Act, being touted as a “pathway” to citizenship for illegal aliens, may be one of those actions.  It could be argued that the very act itself violates federal law. Consider this:

Immigration law, 8 US Code 1324, states that it is a crime to, either knowingly or recklessly, “conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, or attempt to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection… transport, or move or attempt to transport or move” or to even “encourage or induce” an illegal alien “to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.”


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It is not only a crime to actually commit these offenses, but it is a crime to even attempt to do so.  Anyone found guilty of violating 8 US Code 1324 is subject to fines, prison, or both.  However, if it can be proven that this person has committed this act for personal gain, the fines go up; and the prison sentence can be as much as ten years.

The Act also appears to violate 8 US Code 1611, which sets forth specific federal benefits that cannot be given to illegal aliens.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, an alien who is not a qualified alien…is not eligible for any Federal public benefit…” (NOTE: there is an exception for emergency services in this section)

Section 1611 defines a benefit as follows:


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“(A) any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States; and

(B) any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States.”

The ENLIST Act allows illegal aliens to join the military as a “pathway” to citizenship.  These illegal aliens will sign an enlistment contract with the federal government.  This enlistment contract will not make them citizens automatically.  There will most definitely be a requirement for satisfaction of the enlistment terms before citizenship is granted. While the illegal alien is serving in our military, he will be receiving clothing, food, housing, transportation, pay, and other employment benefits to include the GI Bill for post-secondary education; and he will still be in the United States illegally.

Additionally, the entire time these illegal aliens are serving in the military, they will not only be receiving benefits; the federal government will be encouraging other illegal aliens to come into the United States while housing, feeding, transporting, and shielding them from prosecution for violating federal immigration laws.

Now, if the government were a person, what would be the punishment for the above violations?  The law states:

“For each alien in respect to whom a violation of this [law] occurs…be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; or

Any person who, during any 12-month period, knowingly hires for employment at least 10 individuals with actual knowledge that the individuals are aliens described in subparagraph (B) shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.”

And if granting these benefits to illegal aliens “was done for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain,” then the punishment is to “be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”

The political parties have made it all too clear that they are creating these “pathways” to citizenship to gain reelection and to increase the federal power of their party.  The Republicans believe this “pathway” will gain them a majority in the Senate, keep their majority in the House, and even get their president into the White House.  The Democrats believe they will put more on the entitlement roles and get votes for goodies. Victories in elections mean monetary gain for the politician and parties; it means greater political power as well.

Perhaps the legislators will craft a “waiver” within the ENLIST Act to exempt themselves or the illegal alien from prosecution according to the law?

So once again, rather than secure the borders and actually enforce immigration policy, Congress is adding more complex contradictions to an already broken system–all the while trying as hard as they can to fill the nation (and apparently our military) with more and more illegal aliens who may or may not hold to the sound principles upon which this nation was founded.  It appears that a fundamental transformation is well under way, don’t you think?

“O ye that love mankind!  Ye that dare oppose, not only tyranny, but the tyrant, STAND FORTH!”–Thomas Paine, Common Sense.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.


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