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By contrast, the typical MAVNI recruit has a much more complex life story. Many hail from countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, where terror groups are highly active and poor government record-keeping can make it exceedingly difficult for investigators to determine whether the recruit poses a security threat.
“Because MAVNI recruits are foreign nationals who are not permanent residents of the United States, the security screening required for these individuals can be difficult and time consuming due to limitations in the Department’s ability to verify information in the individual’s home country,” Gleason said.
While the AP stated in its July 5 article that some immigrant Army were “abruptly discharged,” Gleason was adamant that the protocols for vetting foreign-born military applicants have remained unchanged since MAVNI ended last year. Indeed, one Pentagon source told Task & Purpose that those recruits who were recently discharged were either among the last to join MAVNI or required the most extensive background checks. Another souce said the military is taking extra precautions after a handful of MAVNI recruits had been let into the ranks only to be discharged later when investigators discovered red flags.
One of the recruiters echoed that sentiment. “The Army has been playing fast and loose with MAVNI for a decade, and would ship people to basic training who didn’t have completed background checks, and all sorts of other stuff,” he said. “Then people started to see the writing on the wall and they did their due diligence to correct the issue.”