Washington—A bill cosponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to retain military personnel in the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program until their background screenings are completed was signed into law today by the President as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation was originaly sponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
The MAVNI program allows immigrants with skills deemed vital to the national interest to enlist in the Armed Forces. Cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the amendment allows MAVNI recruits to remain in the Armed Forces for an additional year while the Department of Defense completes their background checks and security screenings. Under current law, recruits are automatically separated from the Armed Forces after 730 days if they have not yet completed basic training—which no MAVNI recruit can do until they pass the extensive security screening.