U.S. Army Discharging Immigrant Recruits Once Promised Path to Citizenship

Some immigrants in the U.S. Army that were promised a path to citizenship upon enlisting are being discharged, according to the Associated Press. Lawyers claim that they know of over 40 “reservists and recruits” who have been discharged or “whose status has become questionable.” Some service members told the AP that they did not get an answer as to why they were discharged. Others who pressed for answers said the Army told them they’d been “labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad” or said they did not have completed background checks. Over 5,000 immigrants enrolled in the program in 2016, and an estimated 10,000 are currently serving in the Army or in other branches of the military. The Defense Department said that those honorably discharged were “protected” from deportation, but some have been let go with an “uncharacterized discharge.” This comes as the Defense Department cut hundreds of enlistment contracts for new immigrant recruits.