Pentagon Suspends Program Granting Citizenship to Foreigners with Key Language Skills

Pentagon Suspends Program Granting Citizenship to Foreigners with Key Language Skills by Howard Altman - Tampa Bay Times

The military needed people with skills in foreign languages and in health care, more than it recruit, so it turned to immigrants classified as resident aliens and offered them citizenship in return.

Designed to draw 1,000 people when it launched in 2009, the program eventually attracted 10 times that many…

The need for people like Ahluwalia and Montesdeoca remains strong in the military and the reasons given for the suspension of the MAVNI program are overblown, said Margaret Stock, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who came up with the idea for the program and pushed for its creation.

Losing the program, she said, would be a "big hit" to U.S. Special Operations Command. Headquartered at MacDill, SOCom relies on people with culture and language expertise to help U.S. troops and train foreign allies...

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