Urge Congress to Pass Amendments Asking to Evacuate U.S. Citizens from Yemen, Close Prison at Guantanamo Bay
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/14/15) – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are urging all Americans concerned about the thousands of U.S. citizens trapped in Yemen to contact their congressional House representative to support Amendment 103 to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735) calling on President Obama to evacuate American citizens and nationals trapped in Yemen.
Offered by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and John Conyers (D-MI), Congress is expected to debate and vote on Amendment 103 sometime tonight, May 14.
The ongoing conflict in Yemen, including airstrikes and a no-fly zone imposed over Yemen, has made it difficult for Americans to depart Yemen.
Approximately 5,000 Yemini-Americans, of which nearly 900 have registered with StuckInYemen.com, are unable to leave Yemen after the closure of the United States Embassy in Yemen. In April 2015, ADC, CAIR and the Asian Law Caucus launched the website – StuckInYemen.com – to assist in identifying Americans who are in danger and are in need of their government’s assistance in getting to safety.
In February 2015, and United States citizen Jamal al-Labani of was killed in Yemen after the closure of the United States Embassy while attempting to bring his pregnant wife and 2-year-daughter back to the United States.
In 2006, the Department of Defense helped the Department of State remove 15,000 Americans from Lebanon. Many other nations, including China, Ethiopia, India, and Russia are evacuating or have evacuated their citizens from Yemen.
ADC and CAIR recognize that the NDAA as introduced includes onerous provisions that would seek to block the president’s initiative to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. That is why the two groups are also calling for support of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) backed Amendment 189 that provides a framework for closure of the detention facility by December 31, 2017. The amendment is sponsored by Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
Should both amendments fail to pass, Congress is urged to vote against the House’s final adoption of the NDAA.
TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION:
ADC and CAIR have provided a “click and send” letter that you can use to ask your members of Congress to support Amendments 103 and 189 to the NDAA. In less than a minute you can urge your member of congress to authorize the evacuation American citizens and nationals trapped in Yemen and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Should both amendments fail to pass, Congress is urged to vote against the House’s final adoption of the NDAA.
Founded in 1980, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is the largest Arab American grassroots organization committed to protecting civil rights, promoting mutual understanding, and preserving the Arab American cultural heritage. ADC supports the human and civil rights of all people and opposes racism and bigotry in any form.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.