In what is being regarded as the Trump administration’s newest effort to thwart immigration, The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Army is discharging immigrants who enlisted in the military under the program, Military Accessions Vital to National Interest. Attorney’s representing the enlistees said their clients were either discharged or had their “status put in doubt” over the past several days, but neither the Pentagon or the Army have yet to comment on this new report, according to the Huffington Post.
More than 10,000 immigrants with legal status are currently serving under Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) since the program began in 2008 – many were recruited because of their medical expertise, or language skills that U.S.-born recruits don’t possess, The Washington Post reported. The enlistees were promised “expedited naturalization” for their service with an honorable discharge.
But attorneys for many of the immigrants serving under MAVNI said they were recently removed with an “uncharacterized discharge,” which will make their path to citizenship less likely.
“This decision must be reversed now, for the sake of our military, to show that America keeps its word and to uphold the very values we claim to stand for,” Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) said on Twitter.
MAVNI was suspended by the Pentagon less than a year ago claiming the programs was hard to navigate because of extensive background checks performed on the immigrants and therefore, canceled more than 100 contracts with recruits, The Washington Post reported.
“Donald Trump would rather weaken our military than welcome immigrant recruits,” Jon Favreau, former speechwriter for President Obama and founder of Crooked, said on Twitter. “This is disgusting.”