13% Of Veterans Were Born Outside The U.S. Or Are Children Of Immigrants
Immigrants have a long and storied history serving in the U.S. military, but enlisting has become increasingly difficult for those born outside the United States, according to Axios.
A Migration Policy Institute analysis found that 13 percent of the overall veteran population were either born outside America’s borders or are the children of immigrants — totaling 2.4 million of the country’s veterans.
MPI also found that more than 760,000 immigrants have become naturalized citizens through military service. Immigrants who served prior to becoming citizens are also “likely to have served longer than their citizen counterparts,” Axios noted.
But joining the U.S. military as an immigrant — and achieving citizenship status — is harder now than it used to be.
“Military members were denied citizenship at a higher rate than civilians this year, according to McClatchy,” Axios reported. “The number of service members who have applied for citizenship also fell.”
More strict vetting requirements were implemented by the Defense Department for immigrants looking to enlist via the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, as well, over national security concerns.
And those non-citizens who have already enlisted are being discharged at a higher rate: “Last year, the Army discharged more than 500 immigrants who were recruited through MANVI.”