Vigil Thursday to Support Afghan Visa Holder Before Detention Hearing

April 5, 2017

Abdul, who worked at U.S. military facility, has a hearing Friday to determine whether he should continue to be detained while he fights for asylum

What

A diverse group of veterans, clergy, advocates, attorneys, and allies will hold a vigil for Abdul, an Afghan man who received a Special Immigrant Visa for his service to the U.S. forces after he was targeted by anti-American Taliban militants. Abdul, currently detained by ICE while he fights for asylum, has a parole hearing Friday morning. At his hearing, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will decide whether to keep Abdul in jail or whether to temporarily release him while he seeks asylum and asks the government to reissue his visa.

Where

970 Broad Street, Newark, NJ (Outside of the ICE Federal Building)

When

Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.

Who

Veterans, clergy, attorneys, advocates, and members from New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. Speakers list TBA.

Visuals

People holding signs and candles, clergy and advocates calling for Abdul’s release.

Background

Abdul worked at dining facilities for the U.S. military and, as a result, became the target of violent attacks and intimidation by the Taliban. He arrived at Newark-Liberty International Airport on March 13 on a valid visa, sponsored by a retired Army Sergeant, after the U.S. government vetted him more than two years in Afghanistan. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents detained him at the airport for over 28 hours, refused to let his attorneys meet with him, and pressured and misled him into signing a paper that withdrew his request for legal admission to the country.

On March 24, the U.S. government found that Abdul has a credible asylum claim because of his service to our Armed Forces. This ruling protects him from immediate removal, but he now faces the prospect of months in immigration detention while he continues his quest for protection in the United States. Abdul is represented by a team of lawyers and advocates from Seton Hall University School of Law, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), the Law Offices of Jason Scott Camilo, and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.

News articles about Abdul’s case

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2017/03/afghan_man_who_helped_military_remains_in_nj_deten.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/afghan-served-military-detained-ice-170331204414036.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/immigration-authorities-to-deport-afghan-man-who-helped-us-government/2017/03/15/a7eecb9a-098e-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474_story.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/afghan-national-with-special-visa-detained-in-new-jersey-1489700863

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/27/521537052/special-immigrant-visa-holders-still-face-questioning-upon-reaching-u-s

https://apnews.com/a2c2997d61264a0c90c7f23c9c00b718

NJAIJ Member Organizations

1199SEIU | 32BJ SEIU | American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey | American Friends Service Committee | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey | Catholic Charities Diocese of Metuchen | Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton | Centro Comunitario CEUS | Central Unitarian Church of Paramus - Social Action Committee | Community of Friends in Action | Drug Policy Alliance | El Centro Hispanoamericano | Faith in New Jersey | First Friends NJ & NY | Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East | Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey | Ironbound Community Corp. | Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) | Make the Road New Jersey | Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund (LALDEF) | National Association of Social Workers – NJ Chapter | New Jersey Communities United | New Jersey Policy Perspective | New Labor | New Jersey Working Families | OASIS | Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc. | Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ | Unitarian Society of Ridgewood | Wind of the Spirit, Immigrant Center

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