Sep 15, 2017

U.S. Army cuts hundreds of immigrant recruits' contracts

Identical Peruvian twins take the U.S. Army oath of enlistment. Photo: Paul Sakuma/AP

U.S. Army recruiters are cancelling contracts for hundreds of recruits born outside the U.S., leaving many vulnerable to deportation or forced to apply for asylum, per a Washington Post report.

What's happening: "Layered security checks" of these recruits can add a significant amount of time to the enlistment process, sometimes even years. The military said these lengthy processes "frustrate recruiters who must meet strictly enforced goals."

Why it matters: If in the time of processing their enlistment, the recruits' immigration status expires and their contracts are cancelled, they could be subject to deportation.

What's next: Democratic senators Kamala Harris and Richard Durbin filed a defense authorization bill amendment to allow recruits to stay in the U.S. until their background checks are finished. Sen. Harris tweeted: "These brave men & women enlisted & the Administration turns its back on them."

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The latest: The Army moved 1,600 soldiers from out of state into D.C. area, the Defense Department confirmed in a statement Tuesday. Protesters were still out en masse for mostly after curfews began in cities including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland.

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