Immigrants Wanting to Join Army Forced to Flee U.S. Instead

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Immigrant soldiers being sworn-in as U.S. citizens.

The Washington Post reports that some immigrants who had enrolled in a special Pentagon program allowing them to join the military in exchange for permanent residence are fleeing the country because the Trump Administration signaled that it wants to end it.

The program, which was designed to recruit people in the U.S. on student and other temporary visas for the military if they had special language or medical skills, was recommended for termination in June. Over 10,000 people had successfully completed the program, providing valuable service to the United States in exchange for expedited citizenship. Another 2,000 were enrolled for scheduled training. Many of these recruits have seen their initial non-immigrant visas expire. If the program is ended, they will face possible immediate deportation.

The recruits, who have already sworn allegiance to the United States, could face harsh retaliation if deported to their home countries. The Post reports that some of the recruits have fled to Canada to avoid deportation.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is Director of Legal Services at CARECEN and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra University. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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