Trump Administration Spits in the Faces of Active Duty Military
By Crystal Defatte
NPR is reporting that according to the attorneys of the family members this affects, the Trump administration will be terminating what is known as
“parole in place” which allowed family members of active duty military that are in the country illegally to avoid deportation so their family members may serve without worrying whether their family will be deported. It also allowed for those family members here illegally to apply for a green card and rectify their status while remaining here, an option that apparently won’t be available in the very near future.
Of course, this is not only catastrophic to the thousands of military families it would affect, but it’s also a national security crisis in the making. I don’t think it is unreasonable to question the possible effectiveness of military personnel worried about whether today is the day their wife/husband/children etc. are deported to a foreign country they long ago left behind. It is not unreasonable to assume that this could severely impact recruitment numbers; who would want to open their loved ones up to deportation by enlisting? Although I wasn’t able to find numbers on how many family members of active duty military are actually here illegally, the fact that nearly 130,000 troops have been naturalized from more than 30 foreign countries since Oct. 1, 2001, should tell you this could have serious ramifications.
Although our president hasn’t been known for decency, I would be remiss not to point out the complete lack of decency of asking someone to potentially lay down their life for a country he or she loves and doesn’t love them back. It is unconscionable to ask someone to serve a nation that would kick their family members out of it while they serve. It is just plain wrong to tell these families that have sacrificed by essentially becoming single parents, separated from their spouses, at risk of becoming a widow(er) in order to allow their spouses to serve this country that they aren’t American enough. Who’s going to tell the children that while mommy or daddy is off to war they themselves will be on a bus back to a country they never knew because they just weren’t born on the right side of a border?
This is only one in a series of ways Trump has disrespected our foreign-born troops. As reported in the NPR article, last year the Pentagon began discharging immigrants recruited under a special program started by President George W. Bush. The program, known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, or MAVNI, aimed at bringing in medical specialists, fluent speakers of challenging languages, and other special skills. Between 2008 and 2016, 10,400 individuals enlisted in the U.S. military through the MAVNI program, according to Defense Department data.
Between disrespecting our foreign-born troops, our LGBTQ+ troops, our POWs, and our gold star families, I’d hope that all troop-supporting, patriotic Americans of both ends of the political spectrum would stand together to demand the end of the disrespect of our troops by their own Commander in Chief.