McCollum Supports Foreign Military Recruitment Despite Security Problems

A new report raises concerns over the foreign-born military recruitment program MAVNI being compromised.

WASHINGTON – Potential security risks have been identified in a foreign-born military recruitment program supported by Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum.

According to a Fox News report, sources on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon are concerned the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program may be compromised. MAVNI, which has recruited more than 10,000 foreign-born individuals since 2009, offers foreign-born military recruits fast-tracked citizenship in exchange for crucial skills not able to be filled by U.S.-born servicemen.

Fox News reported the Pentagon’s inspector general recently released a classified report that identified “serious problems” with MAVNI. Some lawmakers have confirmed the concerns over the program, telling Fox News the program has many problems including foreign infiltration and missing enrollees. The country of origin for some enrollees is also “of concern.”

According to the Department of Defense, MAVNI is still active, but new applications have been suspended.

Last month, the Washington Post reported the Pentagon was considering a plan to terminate enlistment contracts for 1,000 foreign-born military recruits. The Washington Post claimed the Defense Department was deliberately putting the recruits at risk of deportation, despite the Pentagon citing security concerns.

McCollum, one of three Democrats to speak out following the Washington Post report, seemed to ignore the apparent security risk, instead saying the Pentagon must be held accountable.

“The United States has a moral and legal obligation to recruits who have signed contracts to serve in the military, no matter where they were born,” McCollum said in a press release. “I appreciate the bipartisan concern on this issue and I look forward to working with my colleagues to find a solution that holds the Pentagon accountable and ensures it honors these contracts.”

McCollum has yet to address the developing security concerns associated with MAVNI.

Christine Bauman
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