Immigration Law

For Now, Army Suspends Discharges of Immigrant Recruits (MAVNI)

MARTHA MENDOZA and GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press, Aug. 9, 2018 - "The U.S. Army has stopped discharging immigrant recruits who enlisted seeking a path to citizenship — at least temporarily. A memo shared with The Associated Press spells out orders to high-ranking Army officials to stop processing discharges of men and women who enlisted in the special immigrant program. ... The Army has reversed one discharge, for Brazilian reservist Lucas Calixto, 28, who had sued. Nonetheless, discharges of other immigrant enlistees continued. Attorneys sought to bring a class action lawsuit last week to offer protections to a broader group of reservists and recruits in the program, demanding that prior discharges be revoked and that further separations be halted. A judge’s order references the July 20 memo, and asks the Army to clarify how it impacts the discharge status of Calixto and other plaintiffs. As part of the memo, Williams also instructed Army officials to recommend whether the military should issue further guidance related to the program. Margaret Stock, an Alaska-based immigration attorney and a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who helped create the immigrant recruitment program, said Wednesday the memo proves there was a policy. “It’s an admission by the Army that they’ve improperly discharged hundreds of soldiers,” she said. “The next step should be go back and rescind the people who were improperly discharged.”