Dreamers In Uniform.

Hundreds of Illegals Are Vital To Our Military, What If We Lose Them?

It seems a common assumption that one must be either a citizen or legal immigrant to serve in the United States military. This assumption is wrong. With the security of the nation at stake our military needs illegals and accepts some. The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program actively recruits DACA beneficiaries who have critical skills deemed (as the name suggests) “vital to the national interest.” Remember that phrase, “vital to the national interest.”

Obviously, this is not an open door, or open path to citizenship, for all DACAs. Only those with the specific skills deemed “vital to national interest” qualify. Many more illegals and Dreamers apply to join our military but are turned down because they don’t qualify under the rigid criteria of this program. Generally the program accepts only those with expertise in certain language and healthcare professionals.

For healthcare professionals qualifications include the following:

  • Applicants must fill medical specialties where the service has a shortfall
  • Applicants must meet all qualification criteria required for their medical specialty, and the criteria for foreign-trained DoD medical personnel recruited under other authorities
  • Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English
  • Applicants must commit to at least 3 years of active duty, or six years in the Selected Reserve.

For language experts only the following will be considered:

  • Applicants must possess specific language and culture capabilities in a language critical to DoD
  • Applicants must demonstrate a language proficiency
  • Applicants must meet all existing enlistment eligibility criteria
  • Applicants must enlist for at least 4 years of active duty.

You can see the list of qualifying languages on page 2 of this document.

Those Dreamers who make it into the MANVI program often serve with particular distinction. Because of their language skills MANVI program soldiers serve disproportionately in America’s elite special operations forces, nearly 1 in 3 MANVIs do so. These are the forces at the tip of the American spear and most frequently in harm’s way. U.S. military MANVI luminaries include Saral Shrestha who was the U.S. Army Soldier of the Year for 2012 and, Augustus Maiyo, the winner of the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon. MAVNI Army recruits are more educated and have a lower attrition rate than other recruits.

Nearly 1,000 DACA Dreamers serve our military in this way. All have met the rigid requirement to have skills our military deems “vital to national interest.” Which begs an obvious question, the President has killed DACA, what if we lose them? Is it not contrary to the national interests of this country to deport such people? Should not a President seeking to do so be clearly recognized as acting against the national interests of the United States?

This is particularly relevant because, in association with the shutdown, Trump and his supporters have been attempting to portray Democrats as harming the military. These tweets are typical.

The Republicans are risking the military losing nearly 1,000 soldiers whose skills have been deemed “vital to the national interest.” They include hundreds of soldiers serving in America’s elite special operations forces.

When this is considered which party is most placing our military at risk?

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Written by

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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