State of Hawaii v. Trump
MOTION for Leave to File Amici Curiae Brief Justin B. Cox appearing for Amicus Parties HIAS, International Refugee Assistance Project (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A - Proposed Brief, #2 Exhibit Declaration of Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, Inc, #3 Exhibit Supplemental Declaration of Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, Inc, #4 Exhibit Declaration of Rebecca Heller, Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, #5 Exhibit Declaration of General John R. Allen, #6 Exhibit Declaration of (SEALED), #7 Exhibit Declaration of Allen R. Vaught, #8 Proposed Order, #9 Certificate of Service)(Cox, Justin) Modified by (afc) on 7/11/2017: Per direction of the Chambers of Judge Derrick K. Watson: - VIEWING RESTRICTED -
STATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF DALLAS
DECLARATION OF ALLEN R. VAUGHT
My name is Allen R. Vaught, and I declare as follows:
“I am over the age of twenty-one years, of sound mind, and competent to make
this declaration. The facts stated in this declaration are within my personal knowledge and are
true and correct. I am a United States citizen and currently reside in Dallas, Texas.
My Iraq Deployment and Working with “Sam” as a Translator for the U.S. Army
In April 2003, I deployed to Iraq as a captain in the United States Army Reserve’s
Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command. I was initially attached to the 3rd Armored
Cavalry Regiment (“3rd ACR”), and we were among the first U.S. troops to enter Fallujah, Iraq.
My first assignment was to establish and operate civil-military operations focused on
establishing local government and stability in Fallujah.
Once in Fallujah, I was also responsible for hiring Iraqis to serve as translators for
my soldiers and me in addition to other U.S. soldiers in the area. One of the translators I
interviewed and hired was Mr. Abdulsalam Mohammed Jameel, or “Sam” as he has been known
to me for the past 14 years. I was responsible for all aspects of interviewing, vetting, and paying
translators like Sam in the early weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sam met our initial criteria
for working as a translator alongside U.S. military forces, and was a capable and loyal assistant
to U.S. forces thereafter.
In fact, Sam was one of the first Iraqis to volunteer to work as a translator for us.
Although the pay for translators was extremely low (as I recall, about $5.00 per day at the time),
and the dangers for Iraqis working with U.S. forces extremely high, Sam never missed a mission
and never complained. At that time, Iraqi translators did not live with us in our forward operating
bases, and they did not have body armor or weapons. Instead, at the end of a mission, they were
left to go back to their homes without any personal defense. I had several translators who were
executed for working with us to rebuild Iraq. Despite the known dangers, Sam never wavered in
his loyalty to U.S. military forces, and faced the same dangers, and more, that we faced.
After serving about six months in Fallujah, I was transferred to Sadr City,
Baghdad, Iraq and attached to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. I continued to perform civilmilitary operations, but with a focus on countering the rising influences of Muqtada Al-Sadr, and
his Shi’a militia Mahdi Army. Eventually, I was injured by an IED and small arms fire ambush
in Sadr City that was executed by the Mahdi Army. Sam got word of my injury from other
soldiers that were still serving in Fallujah. Although he was Sunni, Sam traveled the approximate
60 mile distance and braved entering the predominately Shi’a Sadr City to check on me.
Although I had many translators in Fallujah, Sam was one of only two translators who made that
dangerous journey to check on me.
I left Iraq in March 2004, and was medically separated from the Army Reserve in
February 2005 due to spinal injuries from the IED in Sadr City. I was honorably discharged. I
earned the Purple Heart, and was awarded the Combat Action Badge, Valorous Unit Award
(relative to 3rd ACR combat operations in Fallujah), Army Commendation Medal, and Order of
My Relationship with Sam After My Redeployment from Iraq
Although my time in Iraq ended in 2004, Sam and I have stayed in touch over the
years, primarily through social media and e-mail. My personal knowledge of Sam is current due
to our frequent communications over the past 13 years. I know that Sam continued to work with
U.S. military forces as a translator for many years after my redeployment.
I have also attempted to help Sam immigrate to the United States. My efforts
include submitting a letter of recommendation on his behalf relative to the Direct Access
Program for U.S. Affiliated Iraqis. That letter was similar to this declaration in that it provided a
verification of Sam’s work with U.S. forces, of his character and loyalty to the United States, and
that he should be allowed to immigrate to the United States
Sam has desired to come to the United States for years. I strongly encourage that
the United States Government grant him the necessary approval to come here. Sam poses no
threat to the security of the United States and its citizens. Indeed, Sam will be an asset to our
My Work with Other Iraqis Who Immigrated to the United States
Under the Previous SIV Program and My Willingness to Sponsor Sam
My wife, Donna Vaught, and I previously helped two other translators and their
families get out of Iraq, and assisted them with getting on their feet once they immigrated to the
United Sates. They were granted permanent resident visas under the SIV program or programs
which existed in approximately 2007 to 2008. Like Sam, neither translator posed any risk to the
United States, and both translators are now proud United States citizens who teach Arabic to our
military forces. In fact, one of those translators is the other Fallujah translator who came with
Sam to visit me in Sadr City after the IED ambush mentioned above.
My family and I will provide Sam with the same support and guidance once he
gets here. Sam can live with my family and me in Dallas, Texas. I have no doubt that Sam will
be a similar success story as the two previous translators.
The Military Service Member-Translator Relationship Should be Considered a
“Bona Fide Relationship by the United States Government
I believe the relationship between U.S. military service members and their Iraqi
translators should be recognized as a “bona fide relationship” as that phrase was recently stated,
but not fully defined, by the United States Supreme Court. Any other interpretation of that phrase
relative to U.S. military service members and their translators should send a message to those
translators, and others that might become translators, that risking their lives, and the lives of their
families, to work with the U.S. military is not a good choice from a common-sense perspective.
Simply put, Americans should not turn their backs on that relationship.
Furthermore, as U.S. military service members have regularly served in combat
operations alongside their foreign national translators, what better security assessment can there
be other than the opinion of the service member relative to the translator? Sam served alongside
me in combat operations in Fallujah. He faced the same risks soldiers like me faced with one
exception – we could go home when it was over, but he could not.
Because Sam worked loyally with U.S. forces for many years, he is a “marked
man” and faces death from both Sunni and Shi’a individuals in Iraq. Sam should be allowed to
lawfully immigrate to the United States without further delay.
Basis for the Court to Evaluate the Accuracy of My Personal Judgment
With regards to my personal judgment, in addition to having served as a
commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, I have been a licensed attorney for over 19 years in the
state of Texas and for over 11 years in the state of Mississippi. I am an attorney in good standing
admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. I am also
admitted to practice in each of the four U.S. District Courts in the State of Texas, the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, the U.S. District Court for the District of
Colorado, both U.S. District Courts for the District of Arkansas, the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana.
Furthermore, I served in the Texas House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011
where I represented Texas House District 107. I served as the vice-chairperson for the Texas
House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee from 2007 to 2009, and the Texas House Defense and
Veterans’ Affairs Committee from 2009 to 2011. I was named as Legislator of the Year/received
similar awards from non-partisan groups such as the Texas District and County Attorneys
Association (state prosecutors), Texas Police Chief’s Association, Texas Pediatric Society, Texas
Children’s Hospital Association, and the Texas PTA.
My Family’s Ability to Sponsor and Help Sam in the United States
With regards to my financial ability to help Sam if he is given the opportunity to
come to the United States, I am the managing attorney of Baron & Budd, P.C.’s employment law
department. I was selected as a Thomson Reuters “Super Lawyer” in each year between 2012 to
2017. I was selected by the Texas Lawyer as “Litigator of the Week” in September 2012. I also
own and operate a cattle ranch northwest of Fort Worth, Texas.
My family and I have the resources to help Sam get established as a new resident
in the United States and are willing to open our home to him as his sponsors. My wife and I have
a nine year old daughter and 11 year old son. If I had even a scintilla belief that Sam posed any
threat, I obviously would not be willing to let him live in my home with my family, let alone
come to the United States. Having served alongside Sam in combat, in addition to staying in
contact with him for the past 14 years, I am certain that Sam will have only a positive influence
in our nation if allowed to immigrate here.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the
foregoing is true and correct.”
EXECUTED this 9th day of July, 2017, in the City of Dallas, and the State of Texas.
Allen R. Vaught
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