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Pentagon Mulls Canceling Program Giving US Citizenship to Foreign Recruits

Sputnik News

20:36 03.07.2017

The Department of Defense is considering canceling a program that grants US citizenship to foreigners recruited by the US military for their specialized skills, a memorandum to Defense Secretary James Mattis showed on Monday, according to media reports.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – In the memorandum, high-level personnel and intelligence officials said they have security concerns because of inadequate vetting of recruits under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program, NPR reported.

The officials warned Mattis the program potentially increases the insider threat because individuals it recruits are more likely to have connections to Foreign Intelligence Services, NPR reported.

Any decision to dismantle the program would leave around 1,000 foreign-born recruits whose visas have expired in limbo, with no legal protection from deportation from the United States.

The MAVNI program was launched in 2009 to attract immigrants with special medical or language skills, such as surgeons or Arabic speakers. The program allows the recruits to bypass the permanent residency card process to become US citizens.

The Defense Department has frozen the program pending further review, NPR reported.


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