The Department of Defense had no plan to restrict noncitizens from serving in the military and offering a path to citizenship to them and their family members upon graduation from basic training. Reuters

Even though President Donald Trump has tried to ban certain immigrants from traveling to the U.S. and was going forward with plans for a border wall, he and the Department of Defense will not disallow noncitizens from serving the military or hindering possible citizenship as a reward for service.

Trump railed against undocumented immigrants throughout his successful presidential campaign but still said he was open to the Pentagon’s long-running program that offered legal status for military service.

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There has been no change to that policy and there wasn't expected to be one, a Defense Department official said recently.

“Today's service members are eligible for expedited citizenship under a July 2002 executive order and the military services have worked closely with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to streamline citizenship processing for service members,” Lt. Col. Myles Caggins said in an email to Fox News last week. “Law ensures that the sacrifice of noncitizens during a time of national need is met with an opportunity for early citizenship, to recognize their contribution and sacrifice.”

The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest Program, which started in 2009, recruited 5,000 legal permanent residents each year and between 2010 and 2016, with an average of 18,700 noncitizens among active duty service members.

In 2009, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service kick-started the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative, which granted those who enlisted in the Army citizenship upon graduation from training. Four years later, the three other military branches followed suit.

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"Concerning naturalization, the decision to become a U.S. citizen is a voluntary individual decision and each service provides assistance to service members seeking citizenship,” Caggins said. “Per U.S. Customs and Immigration Service, more than 109,000 servicemen and women have naturalized through 2015.”

The apparent decision, or avoidance, of potentially expanding his anti-immigration rhetoric to noncitizens who serve in the military could have backfired on Trump and his administration, considering plans to increase military spending by $54 billion and to make sure American “wins” wars again.