Mattis to Fight Possible Deportation of 'Dreamers' on Active Duty

Frederick Owens
February 12, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis said immigrant members of the military who are now protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will continue to be protected - even if the program expires without congressional action next month.

Matts said the protections apply to those who benefit from the program who are on active duty, in the active reserves, have already signed a contract with the military and are waiting to go to boot camp and veterans who left with an honorable discharge.

The Pentagon chief told reporters that he had spoken with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the roughly 800 members of the US military whose status was thought to be in limbo.

'They are not subject to deportation unless they committed a felony or a federal judge has ordered them out for some reason, in which case we have to obey the court order, ' he said.

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Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Thursday told reporters that members of the military now protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will not face deportation. The Department of Defense is coordinating with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security (DHS) regarding any impact a change in policy may have for DACA recipients. "These individuals are part of the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) Pilot Program".

Under the DACA program put in place by former President Barack Obama, they were allowed to remain in the US without fear of deportation, enroll in college, obtain driver's licenses and legally secure jobs.

He argued the House should pass a government spending bill Thursday before talking about a DACA fix.

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