We got a bit of a surprise over the weekend. Despite election season, and despite the seemingly hundreds of scandals inundating our screens, certain members of Congress have not forgotten that US support is enabling shocking war crimes in Yemen. And this week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is pushing forward a tough amendment to the otherwise routine Defense Department appropriations bill to cut off US support for the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen. But it may not move without your voice!
On July 5, the Department of Homeland Security will decide whether to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen. TPS allows individuals already living in the US to receive protection when their home country faces war or natural disaster. Yemen first received the TPS designation in September 2015. Since then, the war and humanitarian crisis there have only intensified. If the Trump administration cancels TPS for Yemen — as it has for three other countries already — 1,200 Yemenis would be forced to return.
Today we need your help: contact your members of Congress and ask them to step up by issuing a statement and making a call to the Department of Homeland Security in support of the extension and redesignation of TPS for Yemen.
We urge you to contact your senators and representatives and tell them the time is now to introduce legislation curtailing assistance to the Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led coalition’s military campaign in Yemen, the one message that may successfully deter the UAE and Saudi Arabia from leading a catastrophic attack on Hudaydah city and port.
Yesterday the UAE gave the UN and foreign NGOs three days to leave Hudaydah before the Emirates and their allies launch an all-out attack on the city. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an attack could cost as many as 250,000 people “everything — even their lives,” and humanitarian organizations have warned that damage to the port, which accounts for the vast majority of the country’s food and fuel imports, could tip Yemen into a long-warned-of famine. Moreover, an attack would sink the negotiations currently being brokered by the new, US-supported UN Special Envoy to Yemen. Though the US government has rhetorically opposed an offensive, the administration appears to be washing its hands of the UAE’s actions and will do nothing to intervene.
In April, your voice helped deter the Trump administration from supporting a Saudi-led coalition attack on the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah. Now, reports are surfacing that coalition-backed forces are mobilizing to attack the city from the south, which will turn Hudaydah into a battlefield, shut down its port, and further exacerbate Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe.
Saudi Arabia is starving millions of Yemenis to death, and it’s doing it with the Trump administration’s support. Some members of Congress are happy to put US support for the Saudi blockade of Yemen out of mind as they head home for Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t return to full inboxes on Monday! Heightened media coverage of the blockade has the Saudi government feeling jittery. The raised voices of a few dozen representatives and senators could push them to fully open the nation’s air and sea ports to humanitarian and commercial traffic.
Write your representative and senators today, telling them it’s time to #TalkAboutYemen and demand an end to the Saudi blockade. Your Members of Congress can do a lot to raise the temperature in Riyadh and make the Trump administration think twice about its tacit support for the blockade.
Right now we have an unprecedented opportunity to help end America’s disastrous involvement in Yemen’s civil war. Congressmen Khanna (D-CA), Massie (R-KY), Pocan (D-WI), and Jones (R-NC) just introduced House Concurrent Resolution 81, which, if passed, would require the withdrawal of all US military assets and personnel from the conflict in Yemen. This our chance to change the course of a war that has killed more than 10,000 Yemeni civilians, displaced 3 million, and brought about the world’s worst humanitarian disaster!
This is our chance to send a message that we want Congress to step up and end US involvement in the war in Yemen. This resolution is guaranteed a floor vote by law, but right now House leadership--under pressure from the White House and Saudi Arabia--is trying to stop the vote from happening. We need your help now to make sure HCR 81 reaches the floor.
You can help make sure this legislation passes in just a few easy steps:
Saudi Arabia has been using US-sold weapons against civilians in its war in Yemen. Now the Trump administration wants to sell Saudi Arabia more bombs with no conditions on how they are used.
Thankfully, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Al Franken (D-MN) have introduced legislation to block the sale and are demanding a full Senate vote.
But Mitch McConnell just scheduled the vote for TOMORROW to hurt the resolution's chances!
Last weekend, the Trump administration notified Congress of its intent to renew sales of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) to Saudi Arabia, reversing the Obama administration’s decision to halt such sales due to the munitions’ use against civilians in Yemen. Resuming arms sales to Saudi Arabia while the Saudi-led coalition continues to target civilians and civilian infrastructure with US weapons doubles down on an already tried-and-failed US policy, risks aiding and abetting the coalition’s likely war crimes in Yemen, and violates US and international law.
The YPP condemns the administration’s decision to unconditionally arm Saudi Arabia and calls on Congress to block the sale. Help us send our message to Congress by signing this petition today!