Illegal immigrants will soon be allowed to enlist in the United States military. The Department of Defense (DOD) is going to allow President Barack Obama’s “Dreamers” who entered America illegally as children, to join the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The move has drawn quick and sharp backlash form some. Many opponents are questioning the move due in at least small part to the massive “firings” of active duty soldiers. The pink slips have reportedly been handed out to men and women serving both at home and in combat zones, due to budget cuts.
The Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) permits military recruiters to expand the search for foreign nationals with “unique skills,” The Military Times reports. The Defense Department is willing to “let in” up to 1,500 illegal immigrants who qualify for a deportation reprieve under the President Obama’s 2012 so-called Dreamers Act – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. The executive order applies to illegal immigrants who entered the United States before they were 16 years old. Enlistment in the U.S. Military could become the first step to citizenship for the illegal immigrants.
The MAVNI program “offers a range of benefits to applicants, who until now were largely legal non-citizens,” according to the Army’s recruiting website. Some of the benefits offered to the illegal immigrants enlisting in the military include “expedited citizenship” and educational aid.
Earlier this summer President Obama halted any plans for military service to be a stepping stone to citizenship. At the time, the Obama administration was attempting to garner Republican support for “comprehensive immigration reform.” The White House has since abandoned such efforts, according to Fox News.
The Military Times also had this to say about illegal immigrants joining the Armed Forces, “The new DOD policy may be the first phase of a broader governmentwide effort to ease pressure on immigrants and create new paths to citizenship. President Obama, frustrated with the failure of Congress to pass any substantial immigration reform, has vowed to aggressively use his presidential authority to change the way immigration policies are carried out.”
The Army is in the midst of reducing its ranks from approximately 520,000 soldiers. Cutting the fighting force’s numbers to 440,000 due to budget cuts have some lawmakers and citizens concerned about the nation’s military readiness.
What do you think about the U.S. Military enlisting illegal immigrants and the ongoing downsizing of all branches of the Armed Forces?
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