Rescued From the Taliban but Plunged Into Immigration Hell

Simply two weeks in the past, issues have been wanting up for Hewad Wardak when he was airlifted out of his dwelling nation of Afghanistan by the U.S. army, one of many greater than 100,000 folks evacuated because the Taliban took control.

It appeared at the moment that he was on monitor to lastly be reunited together with his household within the U.S., the place his spouse, a U.S. citizen, had filed a visa petition to convey him to the nation approach again in July 2017.

However by Wednesday night time, what initially appeared like a dream lastly coming true had become a nightmare.

“We do not know the place he’s,” Wardak’s brother-in-law, Suliman Abdul, 22, instructed The Each day Beast. “We don’t know what’s going to occur.”

Wardak’s transfer to the U.S. was meant to occur lengthy earlier than the Taliban seized energy. In accordance with Joshua Goldstein, an immigration lawyer representing his spouse, Wardak’s visa petition was permitted in 2019, however “for nearly two years it’s been caught.”

The visa’s processing was apparently nonetheless underway on the Kabul embassy when Wardak, in a mad sprint on Aug. 18, was airlifted by the U.S. army to Doha, Qatar, amid frantic evacuation efforts, Abdul mentioned.

Later, he mentioned Wardak was taken to Germany and ultimately flown to Washington, D.C. In some unspecified time in the future between these travels, Abdul mentioned, Wardak obtained phrase that his brother in Afghanistan had been murdered by the Taliban.

“He was crying, determined, depressed,” Abdul recalled.

Wardak and his household in California had been in fixed contact as he went by way of varied interviews, Abdul mentioned. He appeared nearer than ever to lastly arriving within the U.S. this week.

When Abdul and Wardak final spoke on Tuesday night, Abdul mentioned Wardak appeared assured that the newest military base he was being transferred to—Fort Pickett, in Virginia—could be the final place he’d should cease earlier than being given the required paperwork to fly to California.

Then, two hours later, Abdul mentioned he obtained a name from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol informing him Wardak could be “taken” to the United Arab Emirates and would contact the household once more as soon as he was there.

“This particular person shouldn’t be despatched out of america. He’s married to a U.S. citizen.”

— Joshua Goldstein, immigration lawyer

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Goldstein confirmed Wardak made it to america, however mentioned it was unclear why he’s allegedly set to be eliminated. Though he mentioned Wardak obtained parole to be within the nation as a refugee, Goldstein mentioned the CBP may revoke parole for their very own causes.

“They may simply say we’re not going to confess you, or we’re going to revoke your parole,” he mentioned. “It’s not technically deportation.” Nonetheless, he mentioned he’s unaware of Wardak having a felony report or another “elementary concern” that may lead him to not be let in.

“This particular person shouldn’t be despatched out of america,” Goldstein mentioned. “He’s married to a U.S. citizen.”

Abdul instructed The Each day Beast that Wardak’s household was bewildered by the news they obtained from the CBP.

“What the fuck do you imply the UAE,” he mentioned, including that Wardak has no familiarity with the nation, to not point out correct documentation to be there. “He doesn’t have a UAE passport, he doesn’t have a UAE visa, he’s by no means been to the UAE.”

On Wednesday, Abdul instructed The Each day Beast that he and Arzo Abdulwali, Wardak’s spouse, had flown from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. to seek for Wardak. They’d gone to the CBP, and visited two camps the place refugees have been taken, hoping to be let inside to see if Wardak was there.

They have been rebuffed.

Abdulwali has been preventing to get Wardak to the U.S. for practically 5 years. She filed a visa petition for him in July 2017.

After the couple acquired married in California in 2016, Wardak had returned again to his native Afghanistan to handle his ailing mom and wanted a visa to return, Abdul mentioned.


By November 2019, in line with information from america Immigration Providers, Wardak’s case was despatched to the Division of State for processing. However in line with a federal lawsuit his spouse filed in July of this 12 months, Wardak didn’t get an interview till March of this 12 months and had been ready for his visa to lastly be launched after an extended and arduous course of.

The Division of State didn’t reply to a request for remark.

“Then swiftly, the whole lot collapsed,” Abdul instructed The Each day Beast. “The Taliban took over Afghanistan and the U.S. evacuated all their folks and evacuated their embassy.”

Ever since his dialog with Wardak on Tuesday, none of his telephone calls have been answered and he mentioned he suspects Wardak’s telephone may need been taken away.

Goldstein, who represents Abdulwali in her federal lawsuit, mentioned he has been attempting to get details about the alleged sudden switch, however has been unsuccessful. “It’s like he’s been disappeared right into a gulag,” he mentioned of Wardak.

Goldstein mentioned Wardak ought to have been within the nation over a 12 months earlier than all of this mess, contemplating his visa petition was permitted in 2019.

It was a well-known case for Goldstein.

He instructed The Each day Beast that lots of his Muslim purchasers typically confronted lengthy delays for approval for visas into america. The federal lawsuit he filed on behalf of Wardak’s spouse, he mentioned, often helped expose delays and velocity up the method.

However that modified when the nation collapsed. “Whereas that lawsuit was pending,” Goldstein mentioned, “the Taliban took over.”

He mentioned he isn’t positive how the sudden change will have an effect on Wardak’s visa standing. He’s heard from different attorneys representing Afghan refugees who’d been in the same visa-limbo and at the moment are not sure of the place issues stand. “Now that the embassy is gone and the Taliban have taken over,” Goldstein mentioned, “it’s form of murky as to the way it’s even going to play out.”

“We don’t have a rustic anymore with the title of Afghanistan. So our solely hope is america of America.”

— Suliman Abdul

However he additionally mentioned he would suppose U.S. officers and businesses would “bend over backwards” to make Afghan refugees like Wardak’s life simpler, quite than tougher. “They’re probably the most weak group of refugees and the U.S. has an ethical obligation to attempt to assist them out.”

Abdul mentioned Wardak’s spouse, two youngsters, and the remainder of his household in California can solely wait to listen to from him quickly and hope for the very best.

“Our nation is gone,” Abdul mentioned. “We don’t have a rustic anymore with the title of Afghanistan. So our solely hope is america of America.” | Rescued From the Taliban however Plunged Into Immigration Hell


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