Immigration Law

Army Admits Discharge of MAVNI Soldier Illegal

Alex Horton, Washington Post, July 17, 2018 - "The Army has reversed its widely covered decision to discharge a citizenship-seeking immigrant soldier, in what his lawyer called an acknowledgment that the move was “improper.” Lucas Calixto, a 28-year-old reservist from Brazil, had faced an uncertain future in the United States before the reversal, which was reported by the Associated Press. An abrupt discharge was likely to knock him off his path to citizenship, which the military promises in exchange for the skills of immigrants who enlist. The reversal, revealed in a federal court filing Monday, comes as the Army and the Pentagon have defended tightening regulations for a program that has historically traded expedited citizenship for badly needed language and medical skills from foreign recruits. ... Margaret Stock, a retired Army officer who designed the MAVNI program and is now a practicing immigration lawyer, said she estimates that “dozens” are in the same position as Calixto — discharged with no explanation or recourse. It was telling that the Army reversed its decision instead of opposing the injunction, she told The Post. “It’s disturbing you have to file a lawsuit to get the Army to follow its own regulations,” Stock said."