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Pentagon revamps program that puts immigrant recruits on path to US citizenship

Article publisher: 
Fox News
Article date: 
October 17, 2017
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 
efense Secretary Jim Mattis is revamping a program that puts foreign-born recruits on a fast-track to U.S. citizenship in exchange for military service as doctors, nurses and language experts.
 
Mattis made the announcement Friday in regard to the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, or MAVNI, program, which was halted last year when the Pentagon assessed it did not have proper safeguards in place against potential insider threats, the Military Times reported.
 
“We are taking the steps obviously to save the program, if it can be saved,” Mattis told reporters Friday...
 
Since 2009, more than 10,000 recruits have entered the military through the MAVNI program, the paper reported.
 
Supporters of the MAVNI program says it allows the military to recruit legal immigrants with vital skills such as foreign language proficiency, the Times reported. Critics said the program lacked adequate screening that left the military vulnerable...
 
A June memo said about 1,000 foreign-born recruits waiting to receive orders risked being deported if the program was canceled, according to the paper.