Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday said that young immigrants who enlisted in the military will not be deported even if their legal protection expires.

Young immigrants who came to the country as children and were enlisted in the armed forces would now rest easy as their fears of deportation was assuaged by Mattis who was reassured by the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen that military members and all veterans who were honorably discharged will be safe from deportation unless they have committed a serious felony or a judge had issued a specific deportation order for them, Associated Press reported.

The immigrants who reportedly joined the Armed Forces under the programme Military Accessions to the Vital National Interest (MAVNI) battled fear of deportation after the MAVNI program was suspended in 2016 amid security concerns. That coupled President Donald Trump’s termination of DACA program left some 850 immigrants currently serving in the military with an undetermined fate regarding their citizenship in the country as previously the U.S. officials had said the military status of the immigrants wasn’t clear.

The MAVNI program created by George W. Bush in 2009, enabled non-citizens to enlist in the military and obtain a green card for their services to the country.

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