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The Army Is Discharging Immigrant Recruits Who Were Promised Expedited Citizenship

Some United States military recruits who enlisted through a program that promised citizenship following honorable service designation have been suddenly discharged, the Associated Press reports.

The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, which the military recently suspended, offered "expedited naturalization" for immigrant recruits. Under President Barack Obama, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, or Dreamers, became eligible for the program.

Immigration attorneys told the AP that at least 40 people recruited through the program had been discharged, and that many of them were given an "uncharacterized discharge"—rather than "honorable" or "dishonorable"—making it unclear how the discharges could impact their future legal status.

Some discharged service members were told they had "been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them," according to the AP; others were not given an explanation.

"Immigrants have been serving in the Army since 1775," Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney and one of the creators of MAVNI, told the AP. "We wouldn't have won the revolution without immigrants. And we're not going to win the global war on terrorism today without immigrants."