AP’s report that US Army is purging immigrants is wrong, but that didn’t stop Jeb Bush from jumping

The Pentagon is pushing back against claims that immigrants are being purged from the U.S. Armed Forces.

Calling out a misleading report by the Associated Press, a U.S. Defense official said “there is no new policy” for immigrants who wish to join the U.S. military, Fox News reported.

In a report published this week, the Associated Press claimed that the U.S. Army is “quietly discharging immigrant recruits.” But the implied message that the administration is targeting immigrants even in the military, while met with outrage, turned out to be not what it appeared.

The AP story quoted a retired U.S. Army colonel about 40 recruits who were hoping to obtain citizenship and had been abruptly dismissed from the military recruiting program, known as MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest), which began in 2009 under former President George W. Bush to meet the military’s need for immigrants with certain special language skills, Fox News reported.

The program, which was suspended last year due to concerns that the Defense Department was unable to properly vet candidates, saw 10,000 immigrants become naturalized citizens since its start. The 40 recruits in question in the AP report had issues with their security clearances and were not summarily “discharged.”

“Any recruit … who receives an unfavorable security screening is deemed unsuitable for military service and is administratively discharged,” Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Nina Hill said Friday.

“The notification that they have not been accepted into the program is their notice,” Maj. Carla M. Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, said, according to the Washington Examiner. “There has been no change in policy.”

But many reacting to the Associated Press headline on the story expressed outrage that President Trump and his administration seemed to be targeting immigrants.

From former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who called it “disappointing” to film producer Adam Best who directly stated the recruits were being discharged because they were immigrants.

Former DNC Deputy National Press Secretary, Jose Aristimuno, blasted the Trump administration for “going after immigrants.”

“With all due respect because this administration from day one has been trying to do everything in their power to literally go after immigrants,” he told Fox News’ Dana Perino on Friday.

NPR’s Tim Mak expressed that “here is less than meets the eye here” in the report.

He noted that the AP did “not answer the simple question.”

National security analyst, John Noonan, echoed the explanations and offered his own breakdown in a series of tweets.

In all, while the AP report created much outrage, it seems the muddy reporting with a misleading presentation of what was actually happening was caught by many.

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