- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Pentagon plans to expand a program that has historically targeted foreign nationals with desirable skill sets to include the children of illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before their sixteenth birthday.

Future enlistees who have been approved under a 2012 Obama administration Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, or DACA, will now be allowed to take part in the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program, Military Times reported Thursday. The Pentagon will have a pool of individuals that ranges from 1.2 million to 2.1 million young men and women.

“We’re just not sure how many within that existing population of DACA would have the linguistic skills to qualify,” a defense official familiar with the policy change told the paper. “These are kids who entered the country at a fairly young age and have basically grown up in the United States, so the limit of their language talents would probably be the language that they received at home.”

The Military Times reported that MAVNI allows a maximum of 1,500 recruits per year. Individuals have typically been recruited who are proficient in languages that would aid national security efforts or who possess medical training.

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