Under a new Obama administration Department of Defense policy made public on September 25, a small number of immigrants living in the United States illegally will be allowed to join the military. The program, known as Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI), will be open to immigrants without a legal visa if they came to the United States with their parents before the age of 16.
Data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau from its American Community Survey (ACS) indicates that the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) grew by 1.4 million from July 2010 to July 2013. This three-year growth brought the U.S. immigrant population to a record 41.3 million in July 2013, an increase of 1.4 million since July 2010. Since 2000 the immigrant population is up 10.2 million.
Twenty-four churches and synagogues in Phoenix, Tucson, Chicago, and Portland have offered sanctuary to illegal immigrants and another 52 faith communities have pledged their support of the movement.
In a statement made to the Madrid-based Efe news network on September 18, Carl Meacham, the director of the Americas Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), predicted that the recent decline in the number of unaccompanied youths who have migrated illegally into the United States will soon reverse itself.