Aurora Representative Mike Coffman has been hard on the campaign trail talking immigration, but one of the cornerstone positions — a path to citizenship through military service — may be on its last legs this session.
Last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor signaled that a similar measure, the ENLIST Act sponsored by California Rep. Jeff Dunham, wouldn’t be included on a routine defense bill.
That means Coffman’s act, the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act, will likely meet a similar fate in Congress this summer, unless a miracle happens. Coffman has been loud in his support of that bill, which offers legal status to children brought to the U.S. by their parents. The comprehensive Senate bill is languishing in the House at the moment even though Obama and the administration have said they’d be willing to compromise on some components of the proposal for weeks now.
Coffman said he believes that Congress can tackle immigration this summer piece by piece, but it appears that conservatives facing a primary challenge won’t have any of it.
It’s possible that Coffman and Dunham’s bill may come up on their own for a vote, but without leadership backing, it’s likely that they’ll fall if they come up.
Coffman, Dunham and Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez have planned a rally on the Capitol steps in D.C. tomorrow.