things that matter

Department Of Defense Considering Removing Program That Allowed Non-Citizens To Join Military

jpellgen / Flickr

Every year, thousands of people sign up to become military service members, not just out of the desire to work for the United States of America, but also to get their citizenship. Although serving in the U.S. military as a path to gaining citizenship has been part of this country’s history since the Revolutionary War, one component could soon be a thing of the past. In a memo obtained by The Washington Post, the Pentagon is considering doing away with the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program, which launched in 2009.

The MAVNI program, which as of now houses 1,000 recruits, is different from the “Naturalization Through Military Service” that many people are familiar with. Under MAVNI, undocumented people can sign up because they have a special skill that the U.S. military can benefit from, including medical and/or language skills.

But according to a memo prepared for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis by personnel and intelligence officials, the MAVNI program shows “potential security threats of immigrants recruited.” The memo essentially states that some immigrants signing up for the program could be doing it with intent to infiltrate the military and harm the United States.

Mattis apparently believes the vetting for MAVNI needs to be stepped up. Aside from the 1,000 recruits, another 4,100 troops (who have already become naturalized citizens through the program) could face “enhanced screenings,” which could open them up to be deported.

Government officials have also assigned “threat level tiers” to the almost 10,000 military servicemen that have already been recruited under the MAVNI program. That means current U.S. servicemen recruited via MAVNI are being ranked on how likely it is that they could turn on the U.S. As of now, the program is under review, which leaves at least 1,000 people hanging without citizenship nor service duties.

Creator of the MAVNI program, retired Lt. Col. Margaret Stock, voiced her disdain towards Pentagon officials and says their concerns are uncalled for. “If you were a bad guy who wanted to infiltrate the Army, you wouldn’t risk the many levels of vetting required in this program,” Stock told NPR.

“They’re subjecting this whole entire group of people to this extreme vetting, and it’s not based on any individual suspicion of any of these people,” Stock told NPR. They’ve passed all kinds of security checks already. That in itself is unconstitutional.”

H/T: The Pentagon promised citizenship to immigrants who served. Now it might help deport them.

READ: Deported Veterans In Tijuana Will Get A Visit From Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro

Recommend this story to a friend by clicking on the share button below. 

Paid Promoted Stories

This Trump-Supporting, California Family Might Lose The Father And Sole Provider To Deportation

things that matter

This Trump-Supporting, California Family Might Lose The Father And Sole Provider To Deportation

Help Save The Ramirez House / GoFundMe

A family is reeling from the sudden detention of father and minister Jorge Ramirez of Oceanside, Calif., which is about an hour drive north of San Diego. Ramirez, who supported President Trump during the 2016 election, was detained in May after immigration officials staked out his home, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. According to Ramirez and his family, he does not have a criminal record and the family remains confused about his detention.

Ramirez, who is undocumented and therefore was not allowed to vote, urged his family to vote for Trump during the election because he agreed with him on religious grounds, according to NBC 7 San Diego. Ramirez contends that he doesn’t agree entirely with Trump’s immigration stance but does see the merit in what he says.

“Everything that he’s said against immigrants, it’s not that I’m in favor, but bad people don’t belong here,” Ramirez told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “In order to make America great, you have to have people contributing to this country.”

Despite his time in the detention center, being denied bond to be released and having to wait until August for a new hearing, Ramirez still supports Trump as president, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. The family admits that the likelihood of Ramirez being released is getting smaller and smaller, based on the kinds of people he has encountered at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego. Ramirez has expressed to his family that the detention center is filled with good people who shouldn’t be there.

Ramirez is married with three children who have U.S. citizenship. His youngest daughter, Abisag, will be starting her freshman year of college in New York when his case is brought before a judge. The judge rescheduled Ramirez’ bond hearing to August because of the 210-page packet submitted to the judge by his attorney. The packet includes scholastic accolades, taxes paid, and letters of support, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The family has set up a page on GoFundMe to raise funds to support the family. Ramirez was the sole provider, according to the GoFundMe page. The family is trying to raise money to keep their mortgage payments current.

(H/T: The San Diego Union-Tribune)


READ: A Florida Family Might Lose The Father To Deportation And They Blame Obama For Ending ‘Wet Foot, Dry Foot’

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!