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White House puts plan to let unauthorized immigrants in the military on hold

Earlier this week, the Obama Administration announced that it was pausing its review of deportation policies until the end of summer, in order to give House Republicans time to pass immigration reform. Now, it looks like they're doing the same with the smaller issue of letting unauthorized immigrants serve in the military.

On Friday, the Huffington Post reported that the Pentagon has a plan in place to expand the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest program (MAVNI), which is currently open to legal immigrants with specialized skills but which the Pentagon wants to expand to unauthorized immigrants who've received deferred action from the Obama administration. Only a day later, the New York Times reported the White House is delaying that plan until August as well as the broader deportation review. The reason is the same: the White House believes any executive action on immigration would prevent House Republicans passing any immigration legislation this year.

The Times does say the plan to expand the MAVNI program has been approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, however, and doesn't give any indication that the Pentagon is rethinking its strategy as to how to expand the military to unauthorized immigrants. That's a problem, since — as Vox reported earlier Saturday — it's extremely unlikely that any unauthorized immigrant would actually be able to enlist via the current version of that program.

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