Dozens of immigrants in the U.S. Army who enlisted after being promised a path to citizenship have been discharged without warning, The Associated Press reports.
Lawyers told AP they know of at least 40 reservists and recruits who have been discharged or whose status is now in question. Some of the immigrants said they were not told why they were being discharged, while others said the Army told them they were deemed security risks because they have family members outside the U.S. or the Defense Department had not yet finished their background checks.
More than 10,000 immigrants are currently serving under the special recruitment program, enacted in order to grow the ranks of medical specialists and service members fluent in 44 different languages, AP reports. To participate in the program, recruits must have legal status in the U.S., and in order to be naturalized, they need to be honorably discharged. Pentagon and Army spokespeople told AP they could not discuss the discharges because of pending litigation. Catherine Garcia