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In response to our advocacy, the Bush administration issued waivers in February and April to allow individuals falsely labeled as terrorists to be admitted to the United States. As a result of laws that define terrorism far too broadly, individuals forced against their will to provide food, shelter, and other assistance to armed groups have been deemed “terrorists.” In addition, armed groups that the US has supported, such as the Hmong and Montagnards who fought alongside Americans during the Vietnam War, were defined as “terrorists” and barred from entering the United States without any allegation that they had ever attacked civilians, but simply because they were a nongovernmental group that bore arms. We conducted extensive advocacy on this issue, including formal briefings to Congress; spearheaded a coalition of groups from across the political spectrum; and helped convince the editorial boards of the Washington Post and the New York Times to denounce the laws. In addition to the waivers, the administration has exempted supporters of eight different groups who should never have been defined as terrorists in the first place. Thousands of previously barred refugees have since been granted admission to the United States because of these waivers.

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