The Obama Administration approved a policy expansion to the current existing Military Access Vital to National Interest (“MAVNI”) plan which would allow young undocumented illegal immigrants approved under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (“DACA”) to join the United States military. To join the military under MAVNI, a person must possess specialized language or medical skills needed by the military. Enlistment in the military would create a pathway for expedited US citizenship for those who qualify.
Federal law does not allow any person to be naturalized unless the person has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. MAVNI was established later to provide an exemption to refugees, asylees, those in Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”)and other foreign nationals to allow them to enlist in the military even though they do not possess a green card. MAVNI has now been expanded by the Obama administration to include DACA recipients also.