News from the week of April 10

Here’s another round-up of what we’ve been reading and watching, from the news and around the web.

President Trump’s revised travel ban is still facing challenges this week after local American Civil Liberties Union chapters filed lawsuits against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security. The suit seeks information on how many people have been detained or subjected to additional screenings since the president signed the initial ban.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided this week that a full roster of active judges, fifteen in total, will review of the revised travel ban. This will expedite the process, which will begin on May 8.

Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Syrian-American activist Mona Haydar write that America has a moral responsibility to the Syrian people that is not limited to military action: “We have to open our eyes to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and demand that our elected officials increase the number of refugees accepted into the United States immediately,” says the pair.

Army veteran Ramiro Hinojosa writes in the Austin-American Statesman this week about how important it is that Congress supports the Keeping Our Promise to Our Afghan Allies Act. “The SIV program upholds the very best of our nation’s ideals—recognizing allies and leading others to safety and opportunity—while undermining the nihilistic narrative of violent extremists who claim different peoples cannot coexist peacefully,” says Hinojosa.

Next week, VFAI members across the country are meeting with Members of Congress in their home districts to tell them how important the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program is to our national security and moral leadership in the world. Because our allies fought alongside us overseas, we will continue to fight for them right here in our own communities. If you want to take part in the effort, be sure to sign up here to meet with your elected representatives and insure that America keeps its promise to our Afghan allies. You can also voice your support for the SIV program right from your own computer or phone by taking action here!

Finally, we heard last week from our partners at the International Refugee Assistance Project that an Afghan interpreter and Special Immigrant Visa recipient, Abdul, had been detained at Newark Liberty International Airport and ordered to be deported back to Afghanistan. Abdul remains in detention while he waits for a judge to hear his case for asylum. VFAI New York leader Matt Lester was there outside of the detention center to address a vigil of advocates, veterans, and concerned citizens. "Keeping our word to our allies on the ground is not just a matter of integrity. It is also a national security necessity that people know we honor the commitments we made," said Lester.

Have reactions to share, or want to learn how you can get involved in our efforts to raise veteran voices in support of refugees? Find us on Facebook or Twitter, or contact us at vfai@humanrightsfirst.org