Thursday, October 2, 2014
From CBS News and USA Today:
Last week, the Department of Defense modified its policy for recruitment to allow some immigrants currently living in the U.S. illegally to serve in the military.
The policy expands an existing program called Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, or MAVNI, which allows the military to enlist foreign nationals "holding critical skills." These include specialized medical training and foreign strategic language expertise.
Now, as long as they came to the U.S. with their parents prior to age 16, are pending approval for adjustment of status, or have held legal status for at least two years at some point, immigrants without a proper visa fall within grounds of eligibility.
In the brief, the Department of Defense cited a July 2002 executive order making noncitizen service members eligible for accelerated citizenship processes.
Military Times suggested that the Pentagon program, which caps at 1,500 recruits per year, "may be the first phase of a broader government-wide effort to ease pressure on immigrants and create new paths of citizenship."