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Some undocumented immigrants will be able to join the military, the Department of Defense announced on Thursday.

For the first time , military recruiters will be able to target deferred action recipients. Deferred action, or DACA, offers renewable, two-year deportation reprieves for young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

The announcement comes as any chance for immigration reform has stalled in Congress.

DREAMers are hailing the move, but say President Obama should take broader executive action to provide relief to undocumented immigrants who may be too old to qualify for DACA.


Cesar Vargas, co-director of the Dream Action Coalition, said in a statement the organization "commends" the Obama administration, but "limited executive action is not the answer."

The new policy will impact an already existing program that allows recruiters to target immigrants with high-demand skills, such as fluency in a particular foreign language. While it will likely affect a very small number of immigrants, it's a sign that the administration is willing to take steps to open doors for some undocumented immigrants. Foreigners who enter military service are eligible for expedited U.S. citizenship.


Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.