But when the Obama administration opened MAVNI up to DACA “dreamers,” growing national-security concerns led the Pentagon to ratchet up that screening — creating a huge backlog.

All this began in the fall of 2016 — before President Trump had even been elected, although new Defense Secretary Jim Mattis added even more layers of vetting in 2017.

As Stars & Stripes has reported, soldiers recruited before then found themselves stuck while waiting for their clearances. And if the vetting isn’t finished within 180 days, they must be given an entry-level separation from service that’s not considered an honorable discharge.

Problem is, that’s precisely what they need in order to become citizens.