Immigrants Joined The U.S. Army To Become Citizens.Now They’re Being Discharged

One of the legal pathways to becoming a U.S. citizen is for immigrants to serve in the military.

For some soldiers, that door is now closed. The Associated Press reports that several men and women who were serving in the U.S. military under a special immigrant recruiting program have been discharged, and some face deportation.

An immigration lawyer claims that at least 40 service members have been let go from their duties in the military. Their status in the U.S. is now in limbo. A Pentagon official said they cannot release any information about these cases due to the pending litigation.

One service member who was dismissed was 28-year-old reservist Lucas Calixto, a Brazilian immigrant who has lived in the U.S. since he was 12. He has since filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army.

“It was my dream to serve in the military,” Calixto told The Associated Press. “Since this country has been so good to me, I thought it was the least I could do to give back to my adopted country and serve in the United States military. Now the great feeling I had when I enlisted is going down the drain. I don’t understand why this is happening.”

While The Associated Press reports that some service members were not told why they were being discharged, others stated they were told that because of their immigrant status, they had become a security risk. They asserted that the Defense Department told them that the administration did not do a thorough background check on them.

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