On Thursday, President Donald Trump drew attention to illegal immigrants who are currently serving the United States in the military. However, just 0.11 percent of the beneficiaries of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy instituted by Barack Obama are actually in military service.

In a series of tweets, Trump added nuance to his stance on the controversial policy, which has allowed more than 800,000 young illegal immigrants to gain work permits and avoid deportation. Trump tweeted, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..” “…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age,” Trump added. “Plus BIG border security.”

Fewer than 900 DACA recipients out of a total of 800,000 are currently in the military. They entered the military as part of the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) Pilot Program. The Department of Defense is coordinating with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security on the impact of the Trump administration’s policy toward DACA beneficiaries.

MAVNI got started during the Obama administration in 2009, but was put on hold in September 2016 over security concerns. It was suspended because it had been shown that some of the illegal immigrants enlisted posed “a significant counterintelligence threat.”

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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