In light of the Trump administration’s harsh stance on immigration, the Pentagon is struggling to recruit immigrants with valuable skills — such as medical and language expertise — for a program that offered expedited citizenship, according to The Associated Press.
The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program offers foreign-born recruits with strong medical credentials or knowledge of African or Asian languages a relatively speedy path to citizenship for their service, but the program came under the gun in 2016 due to concerns that the screening process was ineffective.
It restarted last October with a tighter security check system.
The Department of Homeland Security, however, has reportedly told the Pentagon that it cannot sign an agreement stopping the deportation of foreign-born recruits when their temporary visas expire.
In years past, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service informally protected MAVNI recruits when their temporary or student visas were interrupted by military service, the AP reported.
But that protection has now been called into question.
A DHS official told the news agency on condition of anonymity that recruits without legal immigration status could be deported, but that the department reviewed each case individually.
The DHS and Pentagon did not immediately provide comment to The Hill regarding the report.