Dr. Jeffrey L. Carson
Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna
Since the Vietnam War, the US President and Congress have used various means to evacuate and admit US allies to protect those who work with and for the US government. The Special Immigrant Visa is the current mechanism used to protect allies in Afghanistan and Iraq whose lives have been threatened because of their work with the US government and allied forces. It is a little known but extremely valuable tool in the US foreign policy world. The authors review the legal and political background of the Special Immigrant Visa and its predecessors. They interview refugees admitted to the US under this program, advocacy organizations supporting them, and government officials responsible for implementing it. This study comes at an important time when refugees, including Special Immigrant Visa-holders, are under threat by a presidential administration committed to deporting as many foreign-born people as possible, including those who risked their lives for our foreign policy. This analysis demonstrates that the Special Immigrant Visa program needs to be updated to address the current socio-political and economic reality in the US. They make recommendations to strengthen the program, calling on everyone from Congress to the National Guard to the US states to assist and protect those who believed our promises and lost almost everything to support our military and foreign policy.
Dr. Jeffrey Carson
Jeffrey L. Carson serves as an Assistant Professor at West Point Military Academy and has worked for the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense.
In 2006, 1st Lieutenant Carson served in Mosul, Iraq during the surge led by General Petraeus. In 2008, Captain Carson was embedded with the Afghan National Army (ANA) at an outpost in Baghlan Providence and trained the ANA's intelligence and reconnaissance platoon.
Dr. Carson joined the U.S. Department of State in 2010 as a researcher and served at embassies in Baghdad, Iraq and Kabul, Afghanistan. In both posts, Dr. Carson worked in the Consular Affairs section and assisted in the adjudication of Special Immigrant Visa's.
Dr. Carson graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University
Dr. Carson is married and the proud father of Stella and Roman. In 2016, the Carson family founded Mi-Amore (www.mi-amore.org). The project is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to recovering food, destined for disposal but completely edible, and reallocating to those in need. The project recovered, in fair market value, $16,500 in 2017 and $17,800 in 2018.
Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna
Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna is a participatory action scholar focusing on issues at the intersection of social justice, social relations, and governance. She has been extensively involved in the development of community engagement, public dialogue, public learning, and public communication initiatives related to racial equity, social justice, and democratic governance. She has also served in formal and advisory capacities to community based organizations, foundations, and public institutions on a variety of racial equity issues. She is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Salem State University in the Department of Sociology.