News from the Week of July 10th

Here's the latest round-up of what we've been reading and watching this week, from in the news and around the web:

Last night, Judge Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii, gave a temporary victory to those opposed to the Trump Administration’s travel ban. Judge Watson ordered the Trump Administration to include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and other relatives of a U.S. person to be allowed to enter the United States. The ruling broadens the Trump Administration’s definition of who qualifies as having a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity, allowing members outside the nuclear family to enter the country. The order allows individuals who have been given a commitment by a refugee resettlement organization to enter the United States—allowing Iraqis who have already been approved through the Direct Access Program, to enter. However, most of the Iraqis that served alongside the United States military and applied for resettlement remain in an investigatory stage—and without the commitment for resettlement—are still affected by the Executive Order.

Join VFAI in an “action now” campaign to tell President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, Secretary of State Tillerson, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly to keep our word to our Iraqi allies by clicking here.

Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Congresswomen, appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to discuss her journey to the United States House of Representatives. As a woman, refugee, and Muslim, Omar shared the inspiring story of how after spending four years in a refugee camp she arrived in the United States to build a life where she now represents Americans of all walks of life in Minneapolis. Her path to citizenship was not easy, but she always knew this land welcomed immigrants. From a refugee camp, to walking the halls of power, she represents American values, ideals, and overall patriotism.

Last, meet Matt Lester, a U.S. Marine veteran and the co-leader for the Veterans for American Ideals team in the New York and New Jersey area. Lester’s commitment to American ideals has put him at the forefront of leading efforts combating Islamophobia and advocating for the Special Immigrant Visa program for interpreters and translators who  served alongside U.S. forces. With a dedication to fighting for staying true to the values that make this country great, he says, “My ancestors didn’t come to this country as Americans, but they became Americans, and that’s an identity I’ve sworn to defend.”

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