REPORT: Army temporarily backtracks on discharges of immigrant recruits
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The U.S. Army has stopped discharging immigrant recruits who enlisted seeking a path to citizenship — at least temporarily.
A memo shared with The Associated Press on Wednesday and dated July 20 spells out orders to high-ranking Army officials to stop processing discharges of men and women who enlisted in the special immigrant program, effective immediately.
The article goes on to state the following:
It was not clear how many recruits were impacted by the action, and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the memo.
“Effective immediately, you will suspend processing of all involuntary separation actions,” read the memo signed by Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Marshall Williams.
The disclosure comes one month after the AP reported that dozens of immigrant enlistees were being discharged or had their contracts cancelled. Some said they were given no reason for their discharge. Others said the Army informed them they’d been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.
The Associated Press also reported:
President George W. Bush ordered “expedited naturalization” for immigrant soldiers after 9/11 in an effort to swell military ranks. Seven years later the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, known as MAVNI, became an official recruiting program.
It came under fire from conservatives when President Barack Obama added DACA recipients — young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — to the list of eligible enlistees. In response, the military layered on additional security clearances for recruits to pass before heading to boot camp.
The Trump Administration added even more hurdles, creating a backlog within the Defense Department. Last fall, hundreds of recruits still in the enlistment process had their contracts canceled.
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A memo dated July 20 spells out orders to high-ranking Army officials to stop processing discharges of men and women who enlisted in the special immigrant program, effective immediately. https://t.co/9f80xpXO6X
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) August 9, 2018
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