Soldier is an Unlawful Immigrant
March 6, 2019
A Chinese-born solider that is guarding the southern border of the United States is an unlawful immigrant, according to his words in an interview he gave to The Washington Post. His duties include assisting border agents with arresting immigrants that are attempting to enter this country unlawfully. Basically, he is working to prevent people like himself from coming into the United States.
Although the Pentagon has been working to naturalize certain immigrants faster in exchange for serving the country, this solider may have fallen through the cracks.
A Land of Opportunity?
The soldier arrived in the United States approximately 10 years ago, after graduating from high school in China. He decided to move here because he felt that opportunities were lacking in his home county. He relocated to California, and soon applied to a Pentagon-run immigrant recruit program, Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI). The soldier is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, which made him a good candidate in their eyes. His training was slated to start in August of 2016.
Like most immigrant recruits, this soldier carefully timed his enlistment to coincide with his visitor and student visa expiration dates. As a legal immigrant holding a valid visa, he should have been legally protected.
A month after he enlisted, though, MAVNI was changed when the Pentagon added additional security measures.
As a result, its processes slowed down. Instead of having the opportunity to legally enlist, a lengthy waiting time made his lawful status expire. The Pentagon’s slow security screening affected a total of 4,300 MAVNI applicants, who faced similar circumstances and were now considered to be unlawful immigrants.
A Bureaucratic Mess
Once his visa expired, the soldier worked as a Lyft driver and carefully avoided the border. Then in August of 2017, he was able to get deferred action from the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Unfortunately, that also expired while he was waiting to enlist.
MAVNI was soon closed down after that, followed by the USCIS closing three of their offices in early 2018.
Congress started working to establish quicker naturalizations, and some of the immigrant soldiers were able to enlist. The Chinese soldier was not naturalized, however, but he was accepted at a basic training camp. He was informed that neither that camp nor the advanced training camp he went to next was set up to naturalize soldiers. After some time passed, he was mobilized for border deployment.
His naturalization paperwork has finally been initiated, but is on hold while he is stationed at the border. Although he was scheduled to leave that posting in mid-December, the Pentagon extended the forces’ stay there until January 31.
The soldier is considered an unlawful immigrant in the eyes of the law. Despite his ongoing service to the country, he lives in fear of being at risk for deportation at any time.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Will Fight for Your Rights
Constantly changing immigration laws and governmental red tape can make applying for naturalization difficult and frustrating. If you or someone you care for needs help with immigration issues, contact an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC We understand how government agencies work and will fight for your rights. Call 215-496-0690 or complete an online form. Our office is in Philadelphia, and we represent clients in Pennsylvania, the tri-state area, New Jersey, and nationally.