The Latest: Lawyer describes Afghan dad's US military work

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on an Afghan family that was detained after entering the U.S. on special visas (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

An attorney for an Afghan family who traveled to the United States on special visas and were detained by immigration officials in Los Angeles says the father worked for the U.S. military for more than a decade.

The father, mother and three young sons were detained Thursday after they arrived at the LA airport for a connecting flight to Washington state, where they planned to resettle. They were released Monday.

Attorney Rob Blume says the father worked different jobs for the U.S. military in Afghanistan for more than a decade and was assaulted and shot during his time there.

Lawyers say the family went through a more than yearlong process to obtain special immigrant visas, which are given to foreigners who work for the U.S. military in their countries.

Government officials say the family will be interviewed April 5 to determine if they're eligible to use the visas to stay in the country.


2:40 p.m.

The U.S. government says an Afghan family has been released after being detained when they arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on special visas while en route to Washington state.

Government officials said Monday in a California federal court that the family was given back their passports and visas and will be interviewed in Seattle on April 5 determine if they are eligible to use those visas to remain in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton says she will retain jurisdiction of the case and that the government cannot detain or remove the family from the U.S. without providing 72 hours' notice to their attorneys.


A lawyer for an Afghan family of five who traveled to the United States on special visas and was detained in Los Angeles says immigration officials have agreed to release them.

Talia Inlender, a senior staff attorney at Public Counsel, says the government agreed to release the family Monday.

Messages seeking comment were left for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice.

The family was detained after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday on their way to resettle in Washington state. Lawyers say the father obtained special immigrant visas for his family after working for the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

A federal judge ordered a court hearing for Monday on the family's case after this weekend blocking government officials from removing the family from California.

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