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They traded being willing to risk their lives for the prospect of US citizenship, a timeworn exchange that's drawn linguists, medical specialists and thousands of other immigrants to the military since the Revolutionary War. But several foreign-born reservists and recruits have reportedly been discharged without any real explanation.

Lucas Calixto is a Brazilian immigrant who was recently discharged from the U.S. Army.

After kicking off, MAVNI evolved from a special program to "recognize" foreign-born servicemembers and offer them "expedited" paths to citizenship into a major recruiting channel by 2009.

Service members just require honorable service designations to acquire USA citizenship, which usually becomes available shortly during boot camp. "All service members (i.e. contracted recruits, active duty, Guard, and Reserve) and those with an honorable discharge are protected from deportation", the DoD said in a statement.

"One person has a girlfriend who's a foreigner, he's known her since she was a little kid, they're engaged, she sends him gifts", Stock said.

So far, though, recruits in the 10-year-old programme have not posed an undue security threat, according to a 2017 report by the RAND Corporation.

Lawyers for the recruits say at least 30 have been discharged in recent weeks and thousands more are stuck in limbo - now enlisted but unable to serve - and may also be forced out.

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"We wouldn't have won the revolution without immigrants".

Department of Defense spokeswoman Maj. Some lawyers told AP, however, that the recruits removed from the Army were given neither an honorable nor dishonorable designation, but rather an "uncharacterized discharge". "And we're not going to win the global war on terrorism today without immigrants".

Military.com spoke to a number of MAVNI recruits who says they have been stuck in limbo waiting for the army to process their security clearances. Calixto's complaint says he was let go without any stated reason-but under "additional instructions", the discharge form noted "MAVNI-Military Personnel Security".

Donald Trump's administration added even more hurdles, creating a backlog within the Defense Department. In 2014, his brother went through the programme and was given citizenship in just a few months.

Republican Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland, who has supported legislation to limit the program, told the AP that MAVNI was established by executive order and never properly authorized by Congress. "I'm a good scientist no matter what".

Since Sept. 11, 2001, almost 110,000 members of the Armed Forces have gained citizenship by serving in the USA military, according to the Defense Department.

With grave concern over the administration's treatment of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers already abundant, new attacks on naturalized citizens and those who have been promised future pathways to citizenship are drawing increasing levels of alarm.