US releases tool to reunite Afghans with family members

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US releases tool to reunite Afghans with family members



YOUR COUNTRY. HOST: WHAT IT’S LIKE TO START AGAIN AND FIND NEW DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE. ♪ SOLEDAD: I’M SOLEDAD O’BRIEN. Welcome to THE CASE OF THE CASE. MEDIUM LOOKS IN THE REAR MIRROR, BUT THE DEBATE ON THE NATION’S FUTURE CONTINUES. FOR REFUGEES IN THE US, THIS DISCUSSION INCLUDES THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THEY WILL FIND A WAY TO LIVE HERE. LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO, 76,000 AFGHANISTAN CITIZENS LEFT THEIR HOMELANDS AND COME TO THE US, RECEIVING HUMANITARIAN PAROLE, WHICH MEANS TEMPORARY ENTRY WITHOUT A VISA, REFUGEE FAMILIES LIVE IN A LEGAL RULE. NOW THAT THEY HAVE PUT ROOT IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THEY STILL LIVE IN FEAR. THEY SEE THE TALIBAN’S REVENGE OF THOSE WHO LEFT. DESTROYING THE FREEDOM OF WOMEN AND GIRLS. CORRESPONDENT JESSICA GOMEZ JOINED AN AFGHANI FAMILY WITH FOUR DAUGHTERS WHO FOUND THE WAY TO A NEW HOME AND A NEW LIFE IN WISCONSIN. >> I WORK THREE DAYS A WEEK AND I ALSO HAVE CLASSES. SO BUSY, VERY BUSY. JESSICA: ASMA IQBALZAD, 19, AT THE BEGINNING OF A LONG DAY, SHE AND HER OLDER SISTER GO TO COLLEGE PREP CLASSES. HER YOUNGER SISTERS ATTEND MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL IN SOUTH MILWAUKEE. >> IT IS NOT EASY TO LEAVE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME, YOUR PEOPLE, YOUR COUNTRY. JESSICA: ASMA’S FAMILY IS HAZARA, AN ETHNIC MINORITY GROUP OFTEN PERSECUTED BY ISIL AND THE TALIBAN. THEY WERE AMONG THE THOUSANDS OF AFGHANS WHO RUSHED INTO KABUL AIRPORT IN AUGUST 2021 AS THE US LEFT AND THE TALIBAN TOOK POWER. LIKE MANY OTHERS, THEY HAD NO OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS AND LITTLE HOPE. >> THAT’S LIKE, IMPOSSIBLE. OUR CHANCE WAS 0.000, IT’S JUST IMPOSSIBLE. JESSICA: BUT WHEN ASMA’S YOUNGER SISTER, MARVA, WAS SEPARATED FROM THE FAMILY, THE US SOLDIER AND HIS TRANSLATOR TOOK ATTENTION. >> AND THEN HE GRAB MARWA AND HE JUST PUT MARWA ON HIS SHOULDER. >> HE SAID YOU’RE SAFE, YOU’RE SAFE. AND YOUR FAMILY IS COMING. JESSICA: THE NEXT THING THEY KNEW, THEY WERE ALL ON THE PLANE, JUST LIKE THIS, LEAVING THE ONLY LIFE THEY KNEW. WHEN YOU WERE GETTING ON THAT PLANE AND YOU KNEW YOU WERE TAKING OFF AND YOU KNEW YOU WERE LEAVING AFGHANISTAN, WHAT WERE GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD? >> ACTUALLY MY MIND WAS JUST FREEZING AND I JUST COULDN’T THINK OF ANYTHING. [LAUGHTER] JESSICA: TODAY OSMA, THE MOST POWERFUL KNOWLEDGE OF ENGLISH, IS OFTEN THE FAMILY TRANSLATOR. >> turned right, then right. JESSICA: SHE NEEDS TO LEARN TO DRIVE. >> I’M LIKE AN UBER DRIVER AS I’M ON THE ROAD MOST OF THE TIME. OK, THIS IS YOUR ORDER. JESSICA: AND GETTING HER FIRST JOB IN THE CAFETERIA OF A MANUFACTURING COMPANY IN MILWAUKEE TO TRY TO PAY THE BILLS. >> WHEN I CAME BACK FROM WORK I WAS LIKE, MOM. THERE WERE SEVEN TO EIGHT DRESSINGS FOR THE SALAD. HOW CAN I REMEMBER ALL THIS? JESSICA: WITH HER INFECTIOUS LAUGH — [LAUGHTER] JESSICA: AND THE WORK ETHIC, HER BOSS SAYS, IS YOUR SUPPLEMENT AT A TIME WHEN GOOD EMPLOYEES ARE HARD TO FIND. >> THE SKY’S THE LIMIT, SHE’S GOING TO GO PLACES. SHE’S GOT PERSONALITY, SHE’S GOT BRAINS AND SUCH AN ATTITUDE, SUCH A GREAT ATTITUDE. JESSICA: BUT FOR ASMA AND HER FAMILY, THE TRANSITION TO THEIR NEW LIFE IN THE US IS BITTER. HER FATHER, ONCE A BUSINESS OWNER, IS NOW AN AUTO MECHANIC. AND HER MOTHER, WHO IS BREAKING UP, REMEMBERING HER WORK AS A SEWER AT HOME. BUT SHE SAYS GRATEFUL FOR HER JOB AT A NATIONAL BRIDAL SHOP, MAKING A NEW STORY FOR HER FOUR GIRLS. >> WILL THE HEROES ACCEPT THEIR ABOMINATION? JESSICA: A STORY THAT BEGINS WITH THEIR EDUCATION. ASMA WANTS TO STUDY BUSINESS AND HER SISTER, PSYCHOLOGY. AN OPPORTUNITY STOLEN FROM THEIR FRIENDS AT HOME. JESSICA: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS STILL IN AFGHANISTAN DOING? >> BEFORE THE TALIBAN TOOK CONTROL MY FRIENDS WERE GOING TO SCHOOL AND GOING TO UNIVERSITY AND NOW THEY JUST STAY AT HOME. >> I THINK ABOUT THEM EVERY DAY, IT’S JUST WORRYING BECAUSE THERE IS NO SCHOOL, NO HOPE FOR THE FUTURE, JUST STAYING AT HOME AND EXPECTING NOTHING. JESSICA: WHAT DO THE GIRLS IN AFGHANISTAN NEED FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD? >> THEY NEED TO START PAYING ATTENTION. JESSICA: AND TO THE SOLDIER AND THE TRANSLATOR WHO POINTED OUT THESE FOUR AFGHAN GIRLS — >> IF I CAN FIND THE SOLDIER AND ALSO THE TRANSLATOR I JUST SAY THANK YOU SO MUCH AND THEY CAN UNDERSTAND HOW THEY RUINED THEIR LIVES. MY ENTIRE FAMILY WE ARE JUST GRATEFUL. JESSICA: I’M JESSICA GOMEZ IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN FOR “THE MATTER”. SOLEDAD: “THE MOST FACT” WAS ABLE TO CONFIRM THAT THE SOLDIER WHO HELPED ASMA AND HER FAMILY LEAVE AFGHANISTAN WAS ASSIGNED TO THE ARMY’S 82nd AIRPORTING DIVISION. IF AND WHEN WE CAN FIND IT

US releases tool to reunite Afghans with family members

The U.S. State Department released a tool for Afghans in the U.S. on parole to begin the process of reuniting with their family members on Thursday, a State Department spokesman told CNN.During the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, many Afghans fled the country on evacuation flights, fearing capture by the Taliban. Many families were separated from their loved ones due to the chaotic exodus that proved fatal for many Afghans. Thanks to this new form, tens of thousands of Afghans who came to the U.S. around that time are eligible to apply for reunification with their next of kin. According to the State Department, in particular, this applies to the spouse of an Afghan and unmarried children under the age of 21. “In November, the State Department announced the launch of a new resource for individuals in the United States seeking family reunification. members, depending on their immigration status or method of entry into the United States. Today, we are launching Form DS-4317 for parolees to file for family reunification, including those who have subsequently received temporary protection status,” said a department official. The new form has been published by the State Department. Until now, these Afghans in the U.S. did not have a legal way to bring their family members into the country to join them. “The purpose of these reunification resources, including parole forms, is to help those families who are still separated,” the spokesperson said. The announcement was welcomed by an organization that supports Afghans settling in the United States. “This affects every Afghan the US brought here under parole status who still has family in Afghanistan who is eligible for reunification. Afghans who fit this description should fill out the form now, and Afghans in other categories should visit the family reunification landing page and follow the instructions there, said Sean VanDiver, a Navy veteran and founder of #AfghanEvac. – It took more time to do it. than anyone would like, but #AfghanEvac is proud to have worked tirelessly with the State Department to bridge the gap in the interim through our grassroots efforts,” VanDiver added. It’s unclear how long it will take to reunite families after Afghans fill out the forms, but VanDiver told CNN it’s proof that interagency efforts can pay off. One of the main challenges we face is the flights out of Afghanistan that allow us to begin the move. Although those flights resumed this month — after they were halted during last year’s World Cup in Qatar — there is concern among those involved in the effort that the flights could be shut down by the Taliban in the future. This story has been updated with additional details.CNN’s Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

The U.S. State Department released a tool for Afghans in the U.S. on parole to begin the process of reuniting with their family members on Thursday, a State Department spokesman told CNN.

During the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, many Afghans left the country on evacuation flights, fearing a Taliban takeover. Many families were separated from their loved ones due to the chaotic rush out of the country, which proved deadly for many Afghans.

Thanks to this new form, tens of thousands of Afghans who came to the U.S. around that time are eligible to apply for reunification with their next of kin. Specifically, this includes the Afghan’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, according to the State Department.

“In November, the State Department announced the launch of a a new resource for individuals in the United States seeking reunification with family members based on their immigration status or method of entry into the United States. Today, we are launching Form DS-4317 for parolees to file for family reunification, including those who have subsequently received temporary protection status,” said a department official.

The a new form published by the State Department.

Until now, these Afghans in the US had no legal way to bring their family members into the country to join them.

“The purpose of these reunification resources, including the parole form, is to help those families who are still separated,” the spokesman said.

The announcement was welcomed by an organization that supports Afghans settling in the United States

“This affects every Afghan the US brought here under parole status who still has family in Afghanistan who is eligible for reunification. Afghans who fit this description should fill out the form now, and Afghans in other categories should visit the family reunification landing page and follow the instructions there,” said Sean VanDiver, Navy veteran and founder of #AfghanEvac.

“It took longer than anyone would have liked to do, but #AfghanEvac is proud to have worked tirelessly with the State Department to bridge the gap in the interim thanks to our grassroots efforts,” VanDiver added.

It’s unclear how long it will take to reunite a family after the Afghans fill out the forms, but VanDiver told CNN it’s proof that interagency efforts can pay off.

One of the main tasks that await us is the departure flights from Afghanistan, which allow us to begin the move. While those flights resumed this month — after they were halted during last year’s World Cup in Qatar — there is concern among those involved in the effort that the flights could be grounded by the Taliban in the future.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

US releases tool to reunite Afghans with family members

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