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Hundreds of immigrant recruits may face deportation after Army abruptly drops contracts

U.S. Army recruiters have backed out of contracts with hundreds of foreign-born recruits, meaning enlistees who have waited years to join a program that would fast-track citizenship now face deportation.

A retired Army recruiter told The Washington Post that recruiters were given until Sept. 14 to drop contracts with foreign-born enlistees without penalties. In recent years, the process for recruiting foreign-born enlistees has become burdened with increased security measures, making enlistment a labor-intensive process for recruiters. This past week, with the deadline looming, recruiters were forced to choose between hitting their recruitment goals or continuing the contract process for immigrant enlistees.

The immigration recruitment program, designed to attract highly skilled immigrants to the armed services in exchange for an expedited citizenship process, has been under close scrutiny by the Pentagon in recent months. A memo last summer that revealed that over 1,000 recruits have waited so long for their status to be approved that they are now in a deportation limbo prompted Congress to speak up about the issue, pressuring President Trump or Defense Secretary James Mattis to take action.