“They just said one word: I was ‘unsuitable,’” said the 30-year-old, who has a wife and child and a business management degree. He asked that only his last name be used. “I came here legally, made an agreement to stay legally, and they have not kept the agreement.”

A growing number of foreign-born recruits who joined the United States military through a special program created to recruit immigrant troops with valuable language and medical skills are being terminated before they can qualify for citizenship. Lawyers for the recruits say at least 30 have been discharged in recent weeks and thousands more are stuck in limbo — currently enlisted but unable to serve — and may also be forced out…

“There’s no explanation for this except xenophobia,” said Margaret D. Stock, a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and immigration lawyer who helped create the program. Known as the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest or Mavni, the program, created during the George W. Bush administration, allows legal, nonpermanent resident immigrants to join the military and get fast track citizenship.