By Sue Horton
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. agents detained an Afghan family of five with valid entry visas at Los Angeles International Airport and have been holding them for several days in California, according to legal papers filed in federal court in California by human rights lawyers.
The father, mother and three small children were granted Special Immigrant Visas because family members risked their lives to defend the U.S. government overseas, said the filing from lawyers with the International Refugee Assistance Project, a legal aid group for refugees and displaced persons.
“Yet despite this record of service on behalf of our country, CBP has detained this brave family and denied them access to counsel,” said the petition, filed on Saturday with the U.S. District Court Central District of California, referring to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
(Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Cooney)