The Marines, who advertise that they "are looking for a few good men," said yesterday that 106 Panamanians may have enlisted under false pretenses.
That number apparently enlisted from New York City and Long Island in recent months by using forged bith certificates and high school diplomas, the corps said.
The 106 suspected of fraudulent enlistment are in the corps boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. "There is no indication or recruiter complicity," the corps said in a statement issued yesterday.
Marine officers are currently reviewing the enlistment and performance of the Panamanians to determine their future. The corps said it has the authority to keep or discharge the ecruits who enlisted using false papers.
Marine officials thorize that many of the Panamanian youths resorted to enlisting fraudulently in hopes that their military service would enable them to become American citizens. Military service helps speed up the naturalization process of an alien who applies to become a U.S. citizen.
The recruits came from both the Canal Zone and Panama. To legitimately enlist in the corps, a person born in the Canal Zone must have one parent who is a U.S. citizen. The reqirement for someone born in Panama is to have one parent who is both a U.S. citizen and is employed by the U.S. goverment or Panama Railroad Co.