Immigrants who joined the U.S. Army through a program promising U.S. citizenship have been abruptly discharged—likely ruining their chances of naturalization and potentially putting them at risk for deportation.
At least 40 people who joined the Army in recent years through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program, begun in 2008, have been thrown out of the service or been given reason to doubt the safety of their military status in recent days. Many have been given no reason for their discharge, while others have been told that “personal links to relatives living abroad led them to be labeled as security risks,” according to the Huffington Post.
MAVNI has recruited tens of thousands of immigrants with special medical or language skills to fill numerous positions the Army was unable to fill with U.S.-born recruits.
In order to obtain the “expedited naturalization” promised by the program, the program stipulates that recruits must be “honorably discharged.” According to lawyers for the recruits, who spoke to the Associated Press, the dozens of people who have been turned away from the Army in recent days have been given an “uncategorized discharge.”
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