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Army Pumps Brakes On Discharging MAVNI Recruits Amid Accusations Of 'Purging Immigrants'
A campaign to prevent the mass discharge of immigrants who enlisted in the Army on the belief that doing so would guarantee them U.S. citizenship has scored a major – though perhaps fleeting – victory over what advocates claim is institutionalized xenophobia.
“On July 20, 2018 the Army temporarily suspended processing involuntary separations of individuals recruited through the Department of Defense Military Accessions Vital to National Interests (MAVNI) program in order to conduct a review of the administrative separation process,” said Army spokeswoman April Cunningham.
Meanwhile, the stringent screening process, which can take years and has resulted in tremendous backlog, will continue for the hundreds of MAVNI recruits who joined the program before it was terminated, officials said.
The MAVNI program was launched in 2008 to attract recruits with critical skills who spoke strategically valuable languages, such as Chinese, Dari, and Russian. But the program was ended in 2017 after the Pentagon determined it was vulnerable to insider threats.
After the Associated Press reported in early July that immigrant reservists and recruits were being “abruptly discharged,” a Pentagon source told Task & Purpose that the foreign nationals being separated were either among the last MAVNI recruits to join under the program or they required the most extensive background checks.
However, proponents of the MAVNI program argue that the recruits are being illegally targeted for separation and that the current vetting process is designed in such a way that all but ensures disqualification.
The decision to review the separation process was made just three days after the Army admitted that it improperly discharged Lucas Calixto, a MAVNI recruit who had filed a federal lawsuit in June claiming the Army violated its own regulations by failing to explain why he was being separated. The Army told a federal court on July 17 that Calixto’s discharge has been reversed.
Attorney Margaret Stock, who helped create the MAVNI program, told Task & Purpose the Army's response to the Calixto lawsuit was tantamount to an "admission that they were purging immigrants" from the service. Stock says she has heard from a handful of other MAVNI recruits whose discharges have been reversed.
(A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that Calixto’s case catalyzed the review.)
“The Army stopped the discharges in an attempt to avoid a court ruling against the Army,” Stock said in an email on Friday. “The Army has admitted that the discharges were unlawful. Since they were unlawful, the Army has stopped the unlawful behavior.”
Clint Eastwood still loves his role as Gunny Highway in ‘Heartbreak Ridge’ — ‘I’m proud I got to play a Marine’
Ah, Heartbreak Ridge, the creme de la' creme of moto-movies that gave us such gems as: "Recon platoon kicks butt!" and the tried-and-tested method of firing a bunch of AK rounds at your Marines and calling it a teachable moment.
The Defense Department's Inspector General's Office has launched an "evaluation" of the deployment of active-duty and National Guard troops to the southern border, a news release said Tuesday.
"We will examine, among other issues, what they are doing at the border, what training they received, and whether their use complied with applicable law, DoD policy, and operating guidance," said Glenn Fine, the principal deputy inspector general performing the duties of the inspector general, in the release.
Gold Star family members might finally see an end to the so-called "Widows Tax" thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 175 Saudi Arabian military aviation students have been grounded as part of a "safety stand-down" after a Saudi Air Force lieutenant shot and killed three people last week at a U.S. Navy base in Florida, U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
The number of substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against senior Army officials increased this year, according to an Army Inspector General report recently presented to service leaders and obtained by Task & Purpose.
The document, which lays out broad details of IG investigations undertaken in fiscal year 2019, looks at investigations specific to senior Army officials, which includes "promotable colonels, general officers and senior executives," according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz.