Tags: Immigration | enlistment | program | army | suspended | mavni

Military Enlistment Program for Immigrants Halted

By    |   Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 10:46 PM

A military enlistment program aimed at attracting a select pool of highly skilled immigrants has been suspended while the Army finalizes screening procedures, Politico reports.

The Pentagon changed its policy last month to admit "Dreamers" — immigrants shielded from deportation by the Obama administration's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals directive — into the popular Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program.

"It's a major bureaucratic screw-up by the Obama administration," Margaret Stock, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve who came up with the program, told Politico.

Immigration advocates had pressed for "Dreamers" to be allowed into MAVNI, though the required skills made it unlikely many would qualify, Politico reports.

Vincent Goyal, 23, who has master’s degree in industrial engineering, started a petition on the White House website urging Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reopen the MAVNI program "immediately," Politico reports."It’s been very frustrating for me," he told Politico.Army spokesman Wayne Hall said the service expects the program by late November to immigrants who would've qualified before the Pentagon change in policy.

“From the Army’s standpoint, the MAVNI Program is currently on hold while Army officials sort out final details on screening MAVNI candidates,” Hall said in an email. “Procedures to enlist DACAs require additional coordination (not limited to security screening) which is ongoing at this time.”

The MAVNI program was created by the Army as a one-year pilot program in 2008 to recruit legal immigrants with specialized skills in areas where the military faced a shortfall and, in turn, offer the immigrants an expedited path to citizenship.

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A military enlistment program aimed at attracting a select pool of highly skilled immigrants has been suspended while the Army finalizes screening procedures, Politico reports.
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2014-46-23
Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 10:46 PM
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