Military Program Provides Accelerated Path To Citizenship For Immigrants
In an effort to strengthen its defense forces, the United States military has implemented a groundbreaking program that will offer legal immigrants a fast track to citizenship upon enlisting. This initiative comes as the Army, Air Force, and Navy struggle with the challenge of meeting their yearly recruitment goals, with the Army falling short by 25% last year.
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Recognizing the urgent need for additional service members, the Air Force and Army have taken proactive steps to address the shortfall. The Air Force introduced a new program this year that expedites the path to citizenship for legal immigrants who choose to join their ranks.
In October 2022, the Army reintroduced a similar program in October, offering legal immigrants a quickened path to naturalization upon enlistment.
According to current U.S. immigration laws, a non-citizen who is in the U.S. military is not eligible for automatic citizenship by virtue of their status as a service member. However, their application can be expedited.
Upon joining the Air Force, immigrant recruits undergo seven weeks of comprehensive training and apply for citizenship through the military. Once they successfully complete this process, they are naturalized and sworn in as citizens of the United States.
Aside from the attractive offer made to legal immigrants, the Army and the Air Force have intensified their marketing efforts in their bid to reverse the declining recruitment trend. The two branches have created informative pamphlets and embarked on impactful social media campaigns while coming up with more incentives to make the idea of enlisting more attractive to people.
In a bid to connect with potential recruits on a deeper level, they have enlisted individuals with similar backgrounds to personally reach out to prospective candidates. The idea is that the personal touch will resonate with many legal immigrants as they will connect better with someone from their own locality and be more enticed by the offer coming from them.
Both branches of the military believe that recruiting from the legal immigrant population will be helpful. Although they know the turnout might not be large, they are super open to any small boost in their numbers.
While there are some concerns about national security, authorities say that the vetting process to bring immigrants into the military is thorough.
However, authorities say new immigrant recruits are seldom assigned positions that necessitate top-secret clearance in order to ensure the security of the nation is not compromised in any way.
One of the primary reasons for the decline in military enlistment is the scarcity of qualified individuals who meet the physical, mental, and character requirements. According to Blaze Media, only 20% of Americans fit the bill.
The recruitment shortage can also be attributed to other factors such as low unemployment rates and a diminishing public trust in the military.