The Pentagon says the President’s decision on DACA to end the Obama-era program that protects young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children will have an impact on servicemembers currently in the military. WASHINGTON D.C.
The Pentagon says DACA affects about 900 people currently in uniform or who have signed up to serve are recipients of work authorization through the Obama program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, or DACA.
Lt. Col. Paul Haverstick is a Pentagon spokesman. Haverstick says the Pentagon is coordinating with the departments of justice and homeland security “regarding any impact” the change will have on military DACA recipients.
MAVNI is a special DOD recruitment program that selects legal immigrants who are deemed to have vital skills serve in the military. Qualifying program enrollees include physicians, nurses and experts in a number of languages in the Middle East and Asia, according to the Pentagon.
Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to the program in six months, giving Congress time to find a solution for the immigrants.
The enlistees are a small proportion of the 800,000 immigrants who have received quasi-legal status under the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
About 900 undocumented immigrants known as “DREAMers” are currently serving in the United States military, the Pentagon says which could prove a major challenge for the Trump administration as it tries to wind down the Obama-era program that protected those immigrants from deportation.
Those service members all of whom have health care or language skills the U.S. military considers vital would be forced to leave the military under Trump policy that would rescind their protected status beginning next March.
But they are also among the most symbolically important faces of the program, now that President Trump has called on Congress to resolve the fate of immigrants whose parents brought them to the country illegally as children.
The DACA enlistees are part of a Pentagon pilot project called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest. The program waives certain citizenship requirements for green card holders, refugees and DACA recipients with skills that the military considers essential to the national interest.
This article was sourced and published by the Associated Press (AP).