The Huffington Post reports that the “Obama Administration Plans To Let Some Young Undocumented Immigrants Join The Military.” The plans have been approved by the Pentagon.
“Pentagon officials have approved a policy that would allow a limited group of undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to enlist in the military, opening up a path for them to eventually become citizens, The Huffington Post has learned,” reports the liberal website.
The move, which has not been formally announced by the Obama administration, would affect some of the roughly 550,000 undocumented young people granted the ability to remain in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many of whom have pled with the government to allow them to enlist.
Immigrants in the country legally can enlist in the military, and through their service, they can receive expedited naturalization as U.S. citizens. More than 89,000 service members have gained citizenship since September 2002, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. But young undocumented immigrants, often referred to as Dreamers, cannot currently enlist, even if they have been granted work authorization and the ability to remain in the country under DACA.
The new change, under a Pentagon recruitment plan called Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, would allow some undocumented immigrants with critical language or medical skills to enlist in the armed forces — considerably limiting the number of Dreamers who would be eligible. Roughly 3,000 legal immigrants have enlisted through the MAVNI program since 2009, and now the program will be open to those who are in the country illegally.