Like it or not, the Pentagon has announced that illegal immigrants can now serve in our armed forces.
This is sure to cause quite a bit of discussion.
What say you?
A small number of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally will have an opportunity to join the military for the first time in decades under a new Defense Department policy unveiled Thursday.
The new rules will expand an existing program allowing recruiters to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training.
For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, or MAVNI — will be open to immigrants without a proper visa if they came to the U.S. with their parents before age 16. More specifically, they must be approved under a 2012 Obama administration policy known as Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA.
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 Pentagon program is capped at 1,500 recruits per year. Officials say it’s unclear how many of those might be unlawful DACA status immigrants as opposed to others who are also eligible for military service under MAVNI, including those with legal, nonpermanent visas such as students or tourists.