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Wave the Green Card for Linguists

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the U.S. army is contemplating paying whopping reenlistment bonuses to native linguists fluent in vital languages such as Arabic and Dari. That’s because there is such high demand for their services, with intelligence and law-enforcement agencies competing with the military. Many of the most valuable linguists are Arab-Americans or other hyphenated Americans who possess the kind of cultural and linguistic fluency that is almost impossible for a whitebread American to duplicate. There is already a program to fast-track such linguists for citizenship—but only if they have a Green Card already. Isn’t it time we lifted the Green Card requirement altogether? That step, which can be done with a stroke of the pen by the Defense Secretary, will vastly expand the pool of applicants—and perhaps save some money in enlistment bonuses.



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