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Culture > News

The US Army Is Reportedly Discharging Immigrant Recruits

A number of immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who were promised a path to citizenship upon enlisting in the military are now being discharged, according to a new report from the Associated Press

How many foreign-born recruits have been discharged is currently unknown, but The New York Times reported that there are at least 30. There are also thousands more stuck in “limbo,” — currently enlisted, but unable to serve — at risk of being discharged. 

As for those who have been dismissed, the AP described a shared sense of confusion. 

“Some of the service members say they were not told why they were being discharged,” the report stated. “Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they’d been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.”

One recruit, a Pakistani immigrant who spoke with the NYT under anonymity out of fear of being harmed in Pakistan if he’s deported, had previously obtained his security report. It stated that he “has such a deep and longstanding loyalty to the U.S., that he can be expected to resolve any conflict of interest in favor of the U.S.”

A month later, he was informed that he was being discharged after failing his security background check.

Another recruit, Private Second Class Lucas Calixto, who’s lived in the United States since age 12, was discharged for “personnel security,” according to a form. He was never given any additional explanation. 

As a result, Calixto sued the Defense Department last week. He claimed the dismissal came with “no warning and no explanation,” violated department regulations and “the fundamental requirements of due process.”

The dismissals come at the same time that the Army “has been unable to meet its 2018 recruiting goals,” the NYT reported. The Pentagon’s spokespeople declined to comment due to pending litigation. 

Follow Allison on Twitter @AllisonMCrist.