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Donald Trump Betrays A Promise Made By President G.W. Bush To Give Expedited Citizenship To Legal Immigrants Joining The U.S. Army

A special recruitment program by the U.S. Army promising legal immigrants a path to citizenship turns out to be a pipe dream.

The program offers naturalization with an honorable service designation that can be given after a few days of boot camp.  Enlistment contracts were signed, and the Army oath taken.  Now, Army reservist are being discharged or not sent to boot camp. Those legally in the United States might be deported when their VISA expires.

In 2002, President George W. Bush expedited the naturalization process for immigrant soldiers.  In 2007, the program known as MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) became an official recruiting program.  President Barack Obama added DACA recipients to the eligibility list.  That is when an official introduced extensive background checks, creating a severe backlog.

Paul Chelimo, a Kenyan-born American athlete who won Silver in the 5,000 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics, secured US citizenship in 2014 after entering the US Army through the MAVNI progam.

In June 2017, an internal memo sent to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis cited that 1,000 recruits were awaiting active-duty training and were at risk for deportation.   Although the special program was by Executive Order of President G.W. Bush, the Trump Administration suspended MAVNI in September 2017 saying it was not properly authorized by Congress.

This is not exactly factual.  While Trump believes his cancellation of MAVNI is right because Congress passed no Bill approving it, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was proposed to continue MAVNI. Read the rest of this entry

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