US Military Purging Foreign-Born Service Members


The US military has begun discharging some of its immigrant recruits as the immigration debate in Washington, DC, reaches fever pitch.

The Pentagon has started to dismiss US Army reservists and recruits who joined the service through a recruiting program instituted under former President George W Bush in 2002. Known in the military as MAVNI, Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest was set up to attract healthcare specialists and individuals knowledgeable in one of 44 foreign languages to boost personnel numbers in the US military, Stars and Stripes notes.

After kicking off, MAVNI evolved from a special program to “recognize” foreign-born servicemembers and offer them “expedited” paths to citizenship into a major recruiting channel by 2009. Under the program, recruits only needed an “honorable service” designation from the military for expedited naturalization, which one can receive after only a few days of boot camp.

According to Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney in Alaska who helped create MAVNI, dozens of legal immigrant recruits have unexpectedly been discharged from the military in recent weeks, Stars and Stripes reported July 5. Individuals who held a green card, asylum or refugee status, or a non-immigrant visa for at least two years were eligible to apply for the MAVNI program.

The military has delayed basic training for some of these individuals so they can’t become…

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