Immigration Law

Pentagon Extends, Expands MAVNI to Include DACA

"A small number of young immigrants who grew up in the United States without legal status will be allowed to join the military and have a fast-track pathway to citizenship, Pentagon officials announced Thursday, the first time those young people have been able to enlist.  Undocumented young people who have been granted deportation deferrals by the Obama administration will be eligible to apply for the military under a recruitment program for immigrants with special language and medical skills, according to a memo issued Thursday by Jessica L. Wright, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.  But administration officials emphasized that the number who would succeed in enlisting would be very small, probably not more than a few dozen. The requirements are stringent and the program is currently limited to 1,500 recruits each year, and already has a huge backlog of applicants." - New York Times, Sept. 26, 2014.

"Pentagon officials don’t know how many of those immigrants have actually learned their ancestral language to the proficiency required by the military.  “We’re just not sure how many within that existing population of DACA would have the linguistic skills to qualify,” said one defense official familiar with the policy change.  “These are kids who entered the country at a fairly young age and have basically grown up in the United States, so the limit of their language talents would probably be the language that they received at home.”  DACA status is granted by the Homeland Security Department and includes a background check." - Military Times, Sept. 25, 2014.