Erick Ruiz, who immigrated from Brazil with his mother when he was 11 years old in 1997, is one of many immigrants in the United States who wanted to join the armed forces but was unable to because of his citizenship status.
“When I hit high school and the reality of being undocumented [sank] in, I realized that my opportunities and my dreams were very limited because of my legal status,” Ruiz said during a press call. “I could not join the military as I always hoped for.”
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But Ruiz, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, was later able to join the military under Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) — a program that accelerates the naturalization process for
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