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Immigrant reservists could face discharge, possible removal

Immigration Services

Many service members from Kentucky and nationwide bravely serve in the United States military to protect the country they now call home. However, this service does not always last until retirement. Sometimes, a person is discharged from the military before retirement. When a person is discharged from the military, there will usually be a reason given (good or bad). But, some members of the U.S. military are being discharged without explanation or an opportunity to defend themselves.

Per an AP report, the U.S. military is discharging immigrant reservists who were told that if they enlisted, they would eventually become U.S. citizens. According to some, they received no warning or reason for the discharge. At least one immigrant reservist, who has been in the U.S. since age 12, sued the Army claiming he was not given an explanation for why he was discharged or the opportunity to defend himself.

The immigrant reservists currently facing discharge enlisted in a recruiting program called the Military Accession Vital to the National Interest program. These immigrant reservists were told their naturalization process would be expedited.

These reservists included those fluent in other languages or those who were military specialists. The program has since been suspended.

While a person from another country needs to have legal status in the U.S. to enlist in the United States military, these immigrants facing discharge are also concerned that they may lose their legal status for being in the country. As a result, they could face deportation and removal.

It remains to be seen what will happen to these immigrants and whether they will be able to stay in the country. Many have resided in the U.S. since they were children, and were trying to legally become U.S. citizens.

It is unfortunate that they have put their lives on the line for our nation, and now have been discharged for reasons that have not been explained to them. Immigrants facing deportation and removal still have rights, and these rights deserve to be upheld. And, contacting an attorney is a great first step.

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