Citizenship For Military Service Program Under Fire

Thousands of foreign nationals with critical skills have served in the U.S. military in exchange for citizenship. The Trump administration is considering ending the program.

A debate has broken out at the Pentagon and in Congress over a proposal to dismantle an 8-year-old program that gives fast-track citizenship to immigrant soldiers who were recruited because they have critical skills in languages and medicine.

More than 4,000 immigrant soldiers recruited through the program — mostly from China and South Korea — are serving in uniform, including on overseas tours. Another 4,000 recruits have enlisted and are awaiting training.

The program is known as MAVNI, for Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest. It was frozen last

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
In Phone Call, Trump And China's President Discuss Coronavirus Pandemic
The leaders spoke after a virtual G-20 meeting. President Trump called it a "very good conversation," and China state TV said Xi Jinping offered to help the U.S. respond to the spread of the virus.
NPR4 min readSociety
Relief Package A Good Start, Say Advocates For The Poor. But More Help Is Needed.
The coronavirus relief package includes a number of provisions to help low-income Americans. But advocates for the poor say it's only a first step.
NPR1 min read
Map: Tracking The Spread Of The Coronavirus In The U.S.
Cases of COVID-19 have appeared throughout the country, but certain areas have been hit harder than others. Find out how many cases and deaths have been reported in each state.