Trump’s Shameful Betrayal of Immigrant Soldiers

America promised immigrants who volunteered to serve in our military a fast track to citizenship. Now, we're throwing them out.


AP (“US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits“):

Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.

The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures.

“It was my dream to serve in the military,” said reservist Lucas Calixto, a Brazilian immigrant who filed a lawsuit against the Army last week. “Since this country has been so good to me, I thought it was the least I could do to give back to my adopted country and serve in the United States military.”

Some of the service members say they were not told why they were being discharged. Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they’d been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.

Spokespeople for the Pentagon and the Army said that, due to the pending litigation, they were unable to explain the discharges or respond to questions about whether there have been policy changes in any of the military branches.

Eligible recruits are required to have legal status in the U.S., such as a student visa, before enlisting. More than 5,000 immigrants were recruited into the program in 2016, and an estimated 10,000 are currently serving. Most go the Army, but some also go to the other military branches.

To become citizens, the service members need an honorable service designation, which can come after even just a few days at boot camp. But the recently discharged service members have had their basic training delayed, so they can’t be naturalized.

Aaron Mehta, a Senior Pentagon Correspondent with Defense News, points of that, while this report “is getting a lot of attention,” in actuality “it is really just another step in a series of policies that the Pentagon has begun using the last six months. Our Tara Copp has written a ton about similar issues.” In that thread, he links to some examples. But those stories were mostly seeming one-offs, cases of individuals being discharged.

Former soldier Alex Horton, now a reporter for the Washington Post, foreshadowed this policy almost exactly a year ago in a story headlined “The Pentagon promised citizenship to immigrants who served. Now it might help deport them.

The Pentagon is considering a plan to cancel enlistment contracts for 1,000 foreign-born recruits without legal immigration status, knowingly exposing them to deportation, a Defense Department memo shows.

The undated action memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis by personnel and intelligence officials at the Pentagon and obtained by The Washington Post, describes potential security threats of immigrants recruited in a program designed to award fast-tracked citizenship in exchange for urgently needed medical and language skills.

Additionally, 4,100 troops — most of whom are naturalized citizens — may face “enhanced screening,” though the Pentagon voiced concern on how to navigate “significant legal constraints” of “continuous monitoring” of citizens without cause, according to the memo.

Officials have assigned threat level tiers to the nearly 10,000 Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program recruits, both in the service and waiting to serve, based on characteristics like proximity to classified information or how thoroughly they have been vetted.

So, there were signs this was coming.

As DefenseOne executive editor Kevin Baron notes, “This was considered a sacred line.” We’ve made a commitment as a nation to these men and women. It’s unconscionable to break it. Furthermore, the Trump administration is doing it in the most cowardly way possible, through incremental changes in policy, and then refusing to talk about it. As Baron points out, “Secretary Mattis said to us repeatedly that immigrant troops would be able to serve as always. Any other secretary, in any other administration, would step out and answer to this, on record and on camera.”

Jim Mattis is an honorable man. He’s earned, through his decades of service to the nation, the benefit of the doubt here, so I’ll presume this was done over his objection. But this should have been a red line for him. This one was worth resigning over. And, certainly, it demands that he personally take the podium at a press conference and explain this policy to the people he serves.

The rationale given in the AP story is nonsensical.

Margaret Stock, an Alaska-based immigration attorney and a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who helped create the immigrant recruitment program, said she’s been inundated over the past several days by recruits who have been abruptly discharged.

All had signed enlistment contracts and taken an Army oath, Stock said. Many were reservists who had been attending unit drills, receiving pay and undergoing training, while others had been in a “delayed entry” program, she said.

“Immigrants have been serving in the Army since 1775,” Stock said. “We wouldn’t have won the revolution without immigrants. And we’re not going to win the global war on terrorism today without immigrants.”

Stock said the service members she’s heard from had been told the Defense Department had not managed to put them through extensive background checks, which include CIA, FBI and National Intelligence Agency screenings and counterintelligence interviews. Therefore, by default, they do not meet the background check requirement.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” she said.

The AP interviewed Calixto and recruits from Pakistan and Iran, all of whom said they were devastated by their unexpected discharges.

Aside from the morality, one of the longstanding deficits in our military has been a dearth of people who speak Middle Eastern languages with any degree of fluency. I wrote about it in one of my first papers in graduate school, way back in 1992. One way that we’ve tried to address that since the 9/11 attacks has been recruiting immigrants with native proficiency. Tossing out soldiers from Pakistan and Iran—especially if they speak Punjabi, Pashto, Urdu, or Persian—for the mere sake of their not being citizens is simply assinine.

There is simply no rational basis for this policy. As Steven Taylor noted last evening, the only plausible reason for this xenophobia. It’s simply an outrageous, shameful policy.

UPDATE:  Two Twitter threads from seasoned voices who have been following this story for quite some time.

Alex Horton, referenced above:

Because threads don’t reproduce well here, his follow-ons:

“In September, we reported the Army was arbitrarily killing contracts for hundreds of noncitizens, often deceitfully or without explanation. In a few cases, contracts were reinstated after I called recruiters myself to ask about it”

“That was after recruits who waited so long for the Pentagon’s botched and overwrought screening process that they fled or sought asylum. One recruit, from Iraq, went to Canada out of fear of going home to face ISIS”

“At the center of this is Mattis. I asked him in January why he/DoD has failed to fix this (this transcript conveniently left that word out). He gave a meandering answer that made it clear his staff has not articulated any issues with the program to him”

“Also: the AP noted a Pentagon statement saying honorably discharged vets are “protected” from deportation. ICE is trying to deport a Chinese veteran despite that, which is a violation of Mattis’ policies ICE already knew existed”

“There is evidence the government is trying to strangle the immigrant recruitment program with bureaucracy. As @VeraMBergen reported, USCIS shuttered its Army basic training offices for no legitimate reason. Naturalization in the service has since dropped”

“The Army *at unit level* wants immigrants. They fill jobs US-born troops can’t/won’t do, like surgeons and dentists. They also speak critical languages. The 2012 soldier of the year was tapped for Green Beret missions in Afghanistan because he spoke Urdu”

Loren DeJonge Schulman, who spent ten years at high levels in the Defense Department and National Security Council and now works at the Center for a New American Security:

After linking some tweets I’ve already referenced, she concludes,

People don’t want to believe the story. But do some reading. It’s not breaking news. It’s another step coming out of a policy change, recruitment malpractice, purposeful underresourcing, and racism. It hurts the military.

It’s real, folks. The AP isn’t making this up.

UPDATE 2:  Loren concluded her thread with two more points:

And finally shame on you AP for not including basic background that is letting otherwise smart people question your story.

Actually finally: i am not an expert but I have more reading comprehension and a better memory than some Senate staffers and journalists, it seems. But don’t result me and don’t trust someone with anonymous sources at the Pentagon or Mattis fan fiction. Read.

I’m a defense policy nerd but don’t have the insider knowledge Loren does. Despite consuming an inordinate amount of defense journalism and following people like Loren and Alex on Twitter, I’ve only been tangentially aware of this story. In the Trump era, especially, there are so many daily outrages that big news gets lost unless it’s emphasized and re-reported with some regularity. That hasn’t happened here.

UPDATE 3 (July 7): See my follow-up post “Army Refutes AP ‘Army Discharging Immigrant Recruits’ Story.” The situation isn’t as awful as portrayed by the AP—but it’s still pretty bad.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Borders and Immigration, Donald Trump, Military Affairs
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Lafayette, out: Just looking to jump to head of citizenship line
    Kościuszko, out: Outstanding cavalry skills but has a weird name: security risk
    Pułaski, out: Talks with accent; security risk
    von Steuben, out: Has sorely needed organizing experience but may be gay

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  2. teve tory says:

    Make Army Gringo Again

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Stock said the service members she’s heard from had been told the Defense Department had not managed to put them through extensive background checks, which include CIA, FBI and National Intelligence Agency screenings and counterintelligence interviews.

    Something tells me this is not an accident.

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  4. MarkedMan says:

    This isn’t just Trump’s disgrace. Every American is responsible. We, as a nation, elected this piece of trash. Although everyone who actually voted for him has an extra obligation to try to clean up this mess.

    In the early 1950’s my uncle came from Northern Ireland to the US. He was almost immediately drafted into the Korean War. (Yes, non citizens can be drafted.) Within a few weeks of being deployed he was captured and held for over two years in a hell hole of a Korean POW camp. When he was finally released he weighed less than 90 lbs (he was 5′ 9″) and had suffered unimaginable horrors.

    To the Trump Trash he was just a piece of garbage, a farmer boy who had left school upon completion of primary at 16 years old (Irish system) and they would have tossed him out of the country upon his return.

    If you have any real American values, just remember this the next time you are tempted to pull the lever for someone with an “R” after their name.

    And here is a list of 7 particularly despicable “R”s. These traitors spent the 4th of July in Moscow kissing Putin’s ass in preparation for Trump’s summit.

    The GOP lawmakers, Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Thune (S.D.), John Kennedy (La.), Jerry Moran (Kan.) and John Hoeven (N.D.), and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), spent July 4 in Moscow’s U.S. embassy

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  5. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m uncomfortable with one-party CODELs but I don’t think “kissing Putin’s ass” is a fair characterization of the visit. The AP report contains strong language from the delegation about Putin’s misconduct.

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  6. Paine says:

    I’ve met a few of these MAVNI recruits… young men and women from Korea, Nepal, the Middle East. They’re smart, ambitious, and have incredibly valuable cultural and linguistic skills. As policy it’s a win-win with both sides getting something out of it. We’re going back on our word and making our military less effective while doing so. Makes very little sense…

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  7. Boyd says:

    I would counsel patience and let a few more facts come out beyond just a single AP article (but being the AP, it’s being picked up by everyone else with little-to-no original reporting). You’re getting sucked into the outrage machine in your haste to feed your confirmation bias, James.

    I’ll be happy to eat my words if this is all factual. Even if it’s 50% factual. I’m not worried about that happening, though.

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  8. James Joyner says:

    @Boyd:

    I would counsel patience and let a few more facts come out beyond just a single AP article

    I’m a little puzzled that, since this broke last night, neither WaPo nor NYT nor DefenseOne have anything. But Kevin Barron is as well-connected as anyone and I’ve included his reaction. The fact that there was a review heading in this direction a year ago (the WaPo report linked in the OP) and that the Pentagon is refusing to deny the story also inclines me to think it’s true.

    I’ll be happy to eat my words if this is all factual. Even if it’s 50% factual.

    And I’ll acknowledge if this turns out to be fake news. But, again, this has been in the wild since early evening yesterday and the Pentagon hasn’t gotten out in front of it.

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  9. drj says:

    @James Joyner:

    The AP report contains strong language from the delegation about Putin’s misconduct.

    I’m not seeing it.

    “Please promise to not do it again,” isn’t strong language:

    Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, called for a “change in behavior” on the part of Moscow.

    “The best way to demonstrate this as we head into the 2018 election is to show the American people and our congress and our administration that the Russians have no intention of messing or playing with the American election,” Thune told The Associated Press in an interview.

    “Maybe the Russians did actually do something,” isn’t strong language:

    “I think it’s a given in the United States, in both parties, that Russia tried to meddle and probably did meddle in the election,” Shelby told the AP.

    Also this:

    [Shelby] also downplayed Russia’s effort to meddle in the 2016 election.

    “Most countries would meddle and play in our domestic elections if they could, and some of them have,” Shelby said. “We have to be realistic nations are going to do what is in their next interest; we’ve done a lot of things too.”

    So where is the strong language? What am I missing?

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  10. MarkedMan says:

    @drj: This was pretty obviously an effort to give cover to Trump’s meeting. Shelby’s statements seem more intended to sow doubt about the Russian n as a rebuke to the Russians. And it occurred after it was revealed that Trump is meeting alone with Putin with no witnesses present.

    Traitors.

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  11. al Ameda says:

    We’ll see how this plays out, but it seems very consistent with the Trump Administration’s xenophobic obsession with strict application of immigration laws to non-White folks.

    To be fair, this is exactly what his base wants.

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  12. James Pearce says:

    @Boyd:

    I would counsel patience and let a few more facts come out beyond just a single AP article

    I would counsel not patience but more diligent reporters and a more engaged audience.

    I read stuff like this:

    Aaron Mehta, a Senior Pentagon Correspondent with Defense News, points of that, while this report “is getting a lot of attention,” in actuality “it is really just another step in a series of policies that the Pentagon has begun using the last six months.”

    And think, “The beat reporter knows about it. Why is it such a surprise to everyone else?”

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  13. James Joyner says:

    @James Pearce: Yes, a fair point. Loren added another two tweets to her thread after my update:

    And finally shame on you AP for not including basic background that is letting otherwise smart people question your story.

    Actually finally: i am not an expert but I have more reading comprehension and a better memory than some Senate staffers and journalists, it seems. But don’t result me and don’t trust someone with anonymous sources at the Pentagon or Mattis fan fiction. Read.

    I follow this stuff pretty closely and was surprised by this story.

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  14. teve tory says:

    Trump’s really growing into the job

    WASHINGTON – Until this month, U.S. President Donald Trump had not made more than 60 false claims in any single week of his presidency.

    He has now made 100 false claims in each of the last two weeks.

    https://www.thestar.com/news/world/analysis/2018/07/06/donald-trump-makes-100-false-claims-for-second-consecutive-week.html

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  15. Argon says:

    Jim Mattis is an honorable man.

    Whom does he serve?
    I’m sure all men are honorable until they’re not. Remember, we thought Colin Powell was honorable too.

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  16. @Boyd: Doesn’t James several additional bits of evidence, including several statements from reporters who have been following this story?

    It sounds like this was known in some quarters, but not widely reported, for months.

    What am I missing to suggest this is nothing?

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  17. Kathy says:

    It is things like this that show people who tell immigrants to get in line, are really saying “Get out and stay out.”

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  18. Jen says:

    Contrary to those who feel like this is a new story, I remember reading about this–and being both surprised and outraged by it–a while back, probably the WaPo story that Alex Horton links to in his tweet.

    And this is one of the problems with this lurching from crisis to crisis administration has brought us: important things get buried.

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  19. teve tory says:

    And this is one of the problems with this lurching from crisis to crisis administration has brought us: important things get buried.

    something that got very little play this week, but is important, is Mueller just added more prosecutors to the team, cuz too many crimes for the current staff to handle.

    Nixon has the record with 76 administration indictments. (Reagan is #2 and GWB #3). Maybe Trump’s trying to break it.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @teve tory:

    Mueller just added more prosecutors to the team, cuz too many crimes for the current staff to handle

    FWIW, I did read one report that said most of the new lawyers are in response to the litigation against his investigation and not really adding to the investigation itself. It was one source, and I can’t find it now so can’t speak to its accuracy.

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  21. teve tory says:

    Boo 🙁

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  22. An Interested Party says:

    I would counsel patience and let a few more facts come out…

    How nice of you to give the trash in the White House more credit than they deserve…over and over again this administration has shown that they do not follow norms and do just about whatever stupid and ridiculous thing this president wants… this administration has lost the benecfit of the doubt…

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  23. JKB says:

    There is enough of a jumble to classify the AP story as “fake news” in that it has obviously been shaped to a narrative and studiously avoided unconfirming facts. This is happening as a mass event now because those in the program awaiting clearance when the program was frozen in 2016 (remind me who was President in 2016) are timing out, along with some who are failing the background checks.

    More clarification: It appears that recruits time out if they don’t pass the checks and report to basic after 1095 days (extended form original deadline of 730 in 2017). That explains why some are timing out despite freeze on new recruits in fall of 2016. (H/t @ECH_ALA)

    (((AG)))
    @AG_Conservative
    So the people being cut now seem to be a combination of those failing counter-intel checks and those timing out because checks haven’t been completed. The latter is obviously less defensible. The program itself has been fully frozen to new recruits since the Obama admin.

    But they’ve accomplished the goal of getting the lie around the world before the truth can get its boots on.

    Apparently, Obama put the death-knell on the program when he used it to get DACA individuals into the Army, even though they rarely met the program goals of having high-tech skills or language proficiency, given DACA by definition came to the US long ago and before much cultural attachment to their home regions. And most of those failing the background checks hail from China.

    BTW, the enlistment would give these people access to guns, explosives, rockets, machine guns, but there is suddenly a shock there would be a background check. I thought background checks for those who wanted to possess a firearm was a good thing?

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  24. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Boyd:

    I’m not worried about that happening, though.

    This was the only true sentence in Boyd’s comment.

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    There is enough of a jumble to classify the AP story as “fake news” in that it has obviously been shaped to a narrative and studiously avoided unconfirming fact

    And so we have our Trumpkin response. The Dear Leader can do no wrong. He can only be wronged by others. And it’s all Obama’s fault. And it is fake news anyway. It’s a wonder he didn’t work in something about Hillary’s emails.

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  26. Andy says:

    James,

    This whole thing is about the MAVNI program. Here are two article you should read for some of the history:

    https://citizenpath.com/mavni-program/

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/04/15/recruits-bureaucratic-limbo-citizenship-program-suspended.html

    I think the accusations that this is some kind of Trump administration plan to punish immigrants is not entirely accurate. Problems with MAVNI began several years ago and a decision was made to shut it down in 2016, but it lasted until the end of FY2017. There have been no new accessions since the summer of 2016 into this program.

    Many of the individuals now being denied service have been in delayed entry for years because their background checks could not be completed and they are timing out of the system (Delayed entry is 3 years maximum). It’s not clear how many fall into that group vs some other issue.

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  27. Andy says:

    And here is website on MAVNI with a ton of historical information:
    including official announcements and policy from the DoD. See the announcements section:

    https://mavnicenter.com/

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  28. Mister Bluster says:

    I thought background checks for those who wanted to possess a firearm was a good thing?

    Glad to see you are on board for background checks before gun sales. I’m sure you support these checks for all firerams sales. Including gun shows.

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  29. Andy says:

    And here’s another one, showing the status of individuals for May and June of 2018:

    http://dcfederalcourtmavniclasslitigation.org/nio_docs/

    The dockets there show complete stats for 1332 MAVNI personnel who are awaiting disposition (as of June). The court documents also explain that the primary reason people are getting dropped is because they are hitting the 3 year delayed enlistment limit. There’s a spreadsheet there that has the relevant dates and timelines for all 1332 of this particular group (there may be more, there’s only so much time I have to devote to this).

    It took me all of two hours of my spare time to research and find the facts on this program and the situation that most of these individuals are in – something the “experts” you respect on Twitter and the AP should have done before spouting off and starting an unnecessary firestorm.

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  30. James Joyner says:

    @Andy:

    It took me all of two hours of my spare time to research and find the facts on this program and the situation that most of these individuals are in – something the “experts” you respect on Twitter and the AP should have done before spouting off and starting an unnecessary firestorm.

    Thanks for the background on the program. But from your own link to the April 2018 Military.com story:

    The beginning of the end for MAVNI came in the form of a September 2016 memo to the service secretaries from Peter Levine, then the acting under secretary for personnel and readiness.

    Levine said that the MAVNI pilot program “is currently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2016.”

    As it turned out, that wasn’t quite so.

    In the same memo, Levine said that “changes in the enclosed guidance will strengthen and improve the execution of the MAVNI program.”

    He said that for MAVNI in the coming year, “the maximum number of accessions will be: Army — 1,200; Navy — 65; Marine Corps — 65; and Air Force — 70.”

    Despite the language suggesting the program’s continuation, Pentagon spokespeople said the program was effectively allowed to end last October, when tighter screening procedures were put in place for MAVNI recruits who had already signed up.

    “Last October” was nine months into the Trump administration.

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  31. Andy says:

    @James Joyner:

    Yes, MAVNI was put on life support. However, there were no accessions to the program after the summer of 2016. The goal for FY2017 was to process the huge backlog of recruits before possibly reopening MAVNI to new recruits at a future date. That backlog still exists, though it’s smaller.

    I haven’t looked far enough into this to know about plans for FY2018 which, as you know, is ending very soon. It may certainly be the case the program was cancelled last year or maybe will be canceled at the end of this FY and any remaining recruits who are still in delayed status will have their enlistments canceled. But that’s a guess, I honestly don’t know.

    It’s also not clear what is happening to those who’ve already been processed into the service and are being discharged.

    Bottom line is that the facts of what is going on should precede the conclusion.

    I would spend more time looking into this if I had the time, but I don’t.

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  32. TM01 says:

    It’s sounds like this is, naturally, a little more complex than Trump Is Racist ™.

    Seems like it’s another instance of a good program that Obama screwed up, combimimg MANVI and DACA, leaving Trump to deal with the effects.

    And of course he knew the media would cover for him. Kind of like the pictures of kids in cages and wrapped in aluminum foil. From 2014.

    Commentary and other links: https://www.dailywire.com/news/32701/cbs-military-expert-pushes-back-aps-army-immigrant-amanda-prestigiacomo?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=062316-news&utm_campaign=benshapiro

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  33. Andy says:
  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy: So the program had more applicants than it could deal and so new recruits were put on hold until they could process all the existing ones. Them Trump and his merry band of pathological racists took over and they stopped processing the queue. Now the recruits are timing out because they haven’t been processed.

    I suppose we could play the traditional Republican game of coming up with conceivable but incredibly far fetched reasons why this would have happened under a non racist administration and then start harrumphing that since we don’t know the interior of Trump’s mind we have to assume good intentions. But speaking for myself, I am long done with that kind of Republican enabling nonsense.

    You elected a racist. Deal with it.

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  35. Andy says:

    Ok, final note here, I have to catch a flight.

    The security requirements (for those who haven’t been following, non-citizens now have to have their security clearance paperwork completed before bootcamp) detailed in the previous link apply to all non-citizens including green card holders, not just to those in the MAVNI program.

    So there are two things going on here – the MAVNI program (which I think is 95% of what this is about) and Green Card holders who join the military who are not in the MAVNI program. People with Green Cards can still join the military! They just have to complete the security investigation before shipping out to bootcamp.

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  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    What am I missing to suggest this is nothing?

    That Boyd is a Trump supporter and conservative.

    Two other unrelated comments:

    Mattis is no longer an honorable person; he surrendered that status by deciding to place his career over his honor by entering this administration. Honorable people have principles. He doesn’t seem to be showing any.

    We cannot win a war on terror any more than we can win a war against using bullets or bombs. Terror is a tactic. If the nation has decided the tactic is deplorable, then renounce it and don’t use it anymore. But enough already with the bloviation about wars on tactics, behavior, and personal conduct.

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  37. Andy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    First of all, I didn’t vote for Trump, so enough with this “you elected a racist” crap.

    Secondly, there is no evidence the Trump administration “stopped processing the queue.” Instead, what the administration did late last year was require that security screening be complete before induction. That policy has been in place about 6-7 months and it did lengthen the processing time, but it didn’t stop it. Note that the people timing out now originally joined in 2015 and so they had a year-and-a-half of processing under the Obama administration and accessions to the program were suspending by the Obama administration. MAVNI had serious problems long before today.

    The process definitely sucks – there are tons of posts here on the issues with government security investigations. And when you’re trying to investigate the backgrounds of non-citizens with little in the way of documentation, it’s not quick or easy.

    There is not any evidence (yet) for any Trump conspiracy. Such evidence may come out, but at least wait for the facts.

    Ok, I’m really going now to catch my plane, have fun.

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  38. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:.. since we don’t know the interior of Trump’s mind…

    Yes we do! “…grab them by the pussy.” “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same,” “Take their guns away, see what happens to her”

    And for an encore to Pud’s “enemy of the people” jab at the press:
    “The crooked press.” “They are so dishonest.” “Fake news.” “Bad people.”

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  39. An Interested Party says:

    Good grief, can Trump apologists defend him without bringing up Obama? Their excuses are pathetic…

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  40. JKB says:

    @James Joyner:

    Hmm, 5 months into the Trump administration:

    An undated memo to Mattis from personnel and intelligence officials cites security concerns in the program. The memo recommends canceling the enlistment contracts for the recruits awaiting basic training and then halting the program altogether, the reports say.

    Democrats in Congress, including Sen. Warner threatened Mattis if the program was cancelled. But he still had this potential for espionage problem. So, instead of cancelling the program, he required the background checks be completed before Basic.

    From a Fox News report, Oct 15, 2017:

    “We could not continue what we’d been doing without an espionage potential,” Mattis said, according to the paper.
    (snip)
    Effective immediately, recruits will have to complete the background check before being shipped to basic training.

    Mattis’ announcement is the first clear sign the Pentagon has backed away from internal recommendations to kill the MAVNI program and scuttle the contracts of those waiting to serve, The Washington Post reported.

    What a terrible person Mattis is. Warned by career DoD officials of a security risk and he takes action to mitigate that risk, while continuing a program that had, surprisingly, been abused to let in people as cooks and drivers instead of just the required medical and language skilled as the program was designed.

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  41. JKB says:

    Oh, look, the changes in the program were the result of a DoD IG investigation that had been ogoing for more than a year, i.e., even before Trump was nominated.

    Defense Department investigators have discovered “potential security risks” in a Pentagon program that has enrolled more than 10,000 foreign-born individuals into the U.S. armed forces since 2009, Fox News has learned exclusively, with sources on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon expressing alarm over “foreign infiltration” and enrollees now unaccounted for.

    After more than a year of investigation, the Pentagon’s inspector general recently issued a report – its contents still classified but its existence disclosed here for the first time – identifying serious problems with Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI), a DOD program that provides immigrants and non-immigrant aliens with an expedited path to citizenship in exchange for military service.

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  42. Raymond says:

    This is not the case. If you read the article, you will find that roughly 40 individuals were dismissed with some sources citing security risks. According to CBS News military analyst Mike Lyons, this happens to US citizens as well.

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  43. Stormy Dragon says:

    @JKB:

    ogoing for more than a year, i.e., even before Trump was nominated

    Typical trump supporter: so delusional they don’t even know what year it is anymore.

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  44. TM01 says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Because what? Obama was perfect and could do no wrong? Because History started with Trump? FFS you’re a frakking idiot.

    You’ve got a good program that Obama ruined by allowing illegals to take advantage of it, increasing the time required for background checks, to the point that the program was suspended in 2014, and effectively died in 2016.

    All because of fscking Obama and His incompetence.

    This totally Fake News crap is essentially Trump cleaning up Obama’s mess, finally completing background checks, and finding some people that didn’t make the cut.

    tangentially aware. And then…OMG TRUMP OUTRAGE OMG!!!

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  45. TM01 says:

    What’s really shameful is the way Obama ruined this program for people who came here legally and wanted to help defend this country.

    But you weren’t paying attention to anything pre-Trump.

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  46. An Interested Party says:

    This totally Fake News crap is essentially Trump cleaning up Obama’s mess, finally completing background checks, and finding some people that didn’t make the cut.

    You must be competing with Bunge for the title of top fluffer for Trump on this site…meanwhile, speaking of shameful…here’s the Prostrate Eight…what the hell are Republicans doing kowtowing to Russian officials and wanting so badly to meet Putin? Perhaps they want the same inducements he gave to his #1 Bitch–our illustrious president…

    Since some people around here love to bring up Obama’s name for any wrong that their hero does, I’ll be happy to return the favor…can you imagine what kind of hell the GOP would raise if Obama and Democrats acted as obsequiously as Trump and his fellow Republicans are to Putin and his thugs? Republican Cold Warriors of the past must be turning over in their graves to know what a disgrace their party has become…

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  47. TM01 says:

    @An Interested Party:
    You idiots loved Putin a few years ago.
    Cancelled that Polish missile defense system. More flexibility. Reset button. The dreaded (sic) Red Line in Syria.

    Putin was your hero until you decided Trump is OMG LITERALLY HITLER!

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  48. JKB says:

    @Stormy Dragon: so delusional they don’t even know what year it is anymore.

    I know that a year before August 2017, the date on the report I linked, is before the January 2017, and before November 2016.

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  49. An Interested Party says:

    You idiots loved Putin a few years ago.

    Bullshit…don’t try to turn this around…it is Republicans who are acting this way toward Putin…it is Trump who is saying nice things about him, not Obama…own your own shit…

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  50. al Ameda says:

    @TM01:

    Putin was your hero until you decided Trump is OMG LITERALLY HITLER!

    This is so Trumpian – you guys just can’t your own lies and dissembling.
    Is Trump Hitler? No, of course not. The better analogy is probably Leni Riefenstahl with orange hair, and a bigger personal archive of bankruptcy and divorce papers.

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  51. Raymond says:

    @An Interested Party: No one can dethrone you from that title.

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