U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced that a Kurdish family initially stopped on the way to Nashville has been cleared for entry into the United States.

“It’s shattering when you’re headed to the United States on a plane and you get pulled off for no good reason,” Rep. Cooper said. “The Sharef family were innocent victims of President Trump’s executive orders, which I am fighting to reverse I hope they make it to Nashville without incident.”

Beginning their journey from Iraq – and equipped with special immigrant visas due to Mr. Fuad Sharef Suleman’s service to the U.S. government – family members were stopped in Cairo last weekend and prevented from boarding their connecting flight to America. The husband, wife and three children had planned to settle in Nashville.

Last night, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad received revised guidance by the Department of State that it is “in the national interest to allow Iraqi special immigrant visa holders to now travel to the United States.” The Sharefs were notified this morning that they were cleared to travel.

Rep Cooper had been in touch with the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and officials at Customs and Border Protection on behalf of the family. Today he praised America’s diplomatic corps for working to uphold the nation’s values overseas.

“Swift action by many committed U.S. State Department employees allowed our nation to right a wrong and fulfill its promise to the Sharef family,” Rep. Cooper said. “In America, we should honor our commitments.”