Pentagon to Again Start Training Immigrants Holding Green Cards

Is it lawful for the government to refuse basic training to green card holders?

Last year, as part of his continued effort to reform immigration, President Trump adopted a policy requiring stricter background checks for green card holders who wish to serve in the military.  The controversial policy required that green card holders submit to a full background check and respond to any expressed concerns before they would be permitted to go to boot camp.  The law resulted in thousands of green card holders waiting in limbo as they awaited the opportunity to go to base camp and lost promised jobs within the military. During the year 2018, just 513 green card holders were sent to training.  This figure was down from 3,600 in 2017.

ACLU Halts Trump’s Policy Concerning Green Card Holders in the Military

With many people across the nation outraged by President Trump’s attempt to delay and deny immigrants from fulfilling their desire to serve our country in the military, the American Civil Liberties Union took action.  The ACLU filed suit on behalf of Jiahao Kuang of California and Deron Cooke of New Jersey. Kuang came to the United States from China at the age of 8 in 2004 and Cooke emigrated from Jamaica three years ago.

A preliminary injunction was issued by Judge Tigar in the Northern District of California this past November.  Judge Tigar sided with Kuang and Cooke, finding that the two lawful permanent residents had been discriminated against by the new policy which delayed their service for more than a year.  The decision found that the Department of Defense lacks a rational justification to change its policy regarding green card holders seeking to enter the military. With no evidence that green card holders pose any more risk than citizens, the Trump backed policy is without justification.  The injunction and subsequent restoral of green card holders into training is a win for immigrants across the country.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at