Alex Horton writes in the Washington Post:
“U.S. Army recruiters have abruptly canceled enlistment contracts for hundreds of foreign-born military recruits since last week, upending their lives and potentially exposing many to deportation, according to several affected recruits and a retired Army officer familiar with their situation.
Many of these enlistees have waited years to join a troubled immigration recruitment program designed to attract highly skilled immigrants into the service in exchange for fast-track citizenship.
Now recruits and experts say that recruiters are shedding their contracts to free themselves from an onerous enlistment process to focus on individuals who can more quickly enlist and thus satisfy strict recruitment targets.
The Pentagon and Army Recruiting Command, which oversees policy and guidance at its recruitment centers across the country, did not answer repeated requests for comment.
Margaret Stock, a retired Army officer central to the creation of the immigration recruitment program, told The Post that she has received dozens of frantic messages from recruits this week, with many more reporting similar action in Facebook groups. She said hundreds could be affected.
“It’s a dumpster fire ruining people’s lives. The magnitude of incompetence is beyond belief,” she said. “We have a war going on. We need these people.”
Stock said a recruiter told her there was pressure from the recruiting command to release foreign-born recruits, with one directive suggesting they had until Sept. 14 to cut them loose without counting against their recruiting targets, an accounting quirk known as “loss forgiveness.”
The recruiter told Stock the Army Reserve is struggling to meet its numbers before the fiscal year closes Sept. 30, and canceling on resource-intensive recruits is attractive to some recruiters.
Half a dozen recruits from across the country tell The Post their contracts have been or will be canceled. Some are now out of legal immigration status and fear deportation.
Lola Mamadzhanova, who immigrated to the United States from Kyrgyzstan in 2009, said she heard that Army recruiters in Evanston, Ill., texted immigrant recruits last week asking whether they still wanted to enlist, with an unusual condition: They had 10 minutes to respond. She never received the text message.”
Read the full story at the link.
No wonder we can’t win wars; it’s a failure of leadership.