The Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a federal lawsuit to compel the U.S. government to evacuate American citizens trapped by the conflict in Yemen.
"The U.S. government has done absolutely nothing to protect, evacuate and repatriate its own citizens, estimated at 55,000,- that are currently stranded in Yemen," said Lena Masri, staff attorney at CAIR Michigan.
"Multiple countries from China, Russia to Somalia have evacuated their citizens," said Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR Michigan. "Yet our country with the strongest military in the world is leaving our citizens to languish."
Walid said the federal government's failure to evacuate U.S. citizens in Yemen is part of a long-standing pattern of discrimination against Americans of Yemini origin.
The lawsuit is part of a multi-pronged effort seeking an emergency evacuation.
In a letter to President Barak Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry notifying them of the lawsuit, CAIR Michigan wrote: "Contrary to its legal obligations, the United States has abandoned Yemeni Americans."
Walid said that CAIR Michigan is also scheduled to meet early next week with Michigan members of Congress to ask them to demand that President Obama mount an emergency evacuation.