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Immigration Law

Expert 'Mystified' by DOJ/DHS Treatment of MAVNIs

American Homefront Project, Jan. 29, 2020

"[T]he MAVNI program has been beset by security concerns for years. In 2010, it was suspended for three years because of questions about how recruits were vetted. In 2016, the Obama Administration stopped taking new MAVNI applicants, citing concerns about the program's vulnerability to espionage.

After President Donald Trump took office, the Pentagon clamped down harder, mandating tighter screening of recruits who had already been accepted. Some were discharged, while others, such as Lee, have been stuck in limbo, waiting years for the government to complete background investigations or resolve other issues.

"They have effectively killed the MAVNI program by imposing all kinds of delays and arbitrary reasons for denial," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell University. ... While the U.S. government has accused several MAVNI recruits of suspicious behavior, Professor Yale-Loehr said he's mystified by how the larger group is being treated.

"Given the tight labor market generally in the United States and the problems that the military is having in meeting its recruiting goals, foreign nationals are an important component to our military," Yale-Loehr said."