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Afghans still adjusting to US: New life, new struggles

Afghans still adjusting to US: New life, new struggles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taliban forces had taken the Afghan capital. Crowds of panicked people thronged the airport. And a young male who had worked while a subcontractor for the U.S. military faced a dreadful choice.

Hasibullah Hasrat, following having navigated the chaotic streets with every one other accompanied by Taliban checkpoints to build it inside the airport, could either go spine for his spouse with every one other accompanied by set of two young children or board an evacuation flying with every one other accompanied by obtain them later. Not taking the flying probable meant none of them would obtain not here of Afghanistan.

Hasrat's decision haunts him. He is inside the U.S., one of additional than 78,000 Afghans admitted into the country following the U.S. troop withdrawal inside August that ended America's longest war. But his family hasn't been intelligent to fasten him. They're still inside Afghanistan, where an monetary crisis has led to widespread hunger with every one other accompanied by where Taliban repression is on the rise.

"My spouse is all alone there," he said, his power of speech breaking while he describes nightly phone calls home. "My son cries, asks where I am, when am I coming. And I don't know what to say."

It's a reminder that the journey for numerous of the Afghans who came to the United States inside the famous evacuation remains extremely a a large amount of a labour inside progress, filled accompanied by uncertainty with every one other accompanied by worry concerning the future.

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Afghan refugees, some of whom faced possible reprisals for employed accompanied by their management or American forces throughout the war accompanied by the Taliban, speak inside interviews that they are thankful to the U.S. for rescuing them with every one other accompanied by family members.

But they are regularly struggling to gain a foothold inside a new land, straining to pay their bills while assistance from the management with every one other accompanied by resettlement agencies starts to sprint out, stuck inside temporary housing, with every one other accompanied by trying to figure not here how to apply for asylum since most of the Afghans came under a two-year crisis status known while humanitarian parole.

"We are not sure what may happen," said Gulsom Esmaelzade, whose family has been shuttled in the centre of innmotel rooms inside the San Diego area since January, following spending trio months at a New Jersey military base. "We don't have anything spine at place of residence inside Afghanistan with every one other accompanied by here we too don't have some future."

It's taken a toll. Esmaelzade said her mother has had to exist rushed trio times to the crisis space when her gore pressure report up to dangerous levels. The younger woman attributes it to the stress of their lives.

Then there are additional mundane challenges that are nonetheless daunting for numerous Afghans. They include learning English, navigating management bureaucracies with every one other accompanied by condition transportation, with every one other accompanied by finding a job.

There is too the isolation for those, exist fond of Hasrat, who came alone. "I don't know anyone here," he said inside the apartment external outside Washington he shares accompanied by set of two other evacuees. "I have no indeed friends, no indeed family, no indeed relatives. I fair exist accompanied by my roommates with every one other accompanied by my roommates are from other parts of Afghanistan."

Some have managed to obtain established. "But there are numerous additional who are not doing fine than are doing well," said Megan Flores, administrative director of the Immigrant & Refugee Outreach Center inside McLean, Virginia.

The experience of the evacuated Afghans is not different from what refugees have historically faced inside coming to the United States. In some ways it's a preview for the up to 100,000 Ukrainians who President Joe Biden says will exist welcomed, too inside numerous cases on set of two years of humanitarian parole.

Afghans on humanitarian parole must apply for a way to remain inside the country such while into and not here of asylum. It's a time-consuming procedure that typically requires finding an immigration attorney, at a cost of thousands of dollars not readily available to most refugees unless they tin find someone to do it pro bono.

The Department of Homeland Security says concerning fifty per cent of of the 78,000 probable will ultimately be eligible for the exceptional newcomer visa, or SIV, program. It grants permanent residency to people, down accompanied by their immediate family, who worked for the U.S. government. Hasrat hasn't been intelligent to firm an SIV, at least not yet, in malice of his labour while a subcontractor setting up transmission lines for the U.S. Army.

Congress could resolve the circumstances by passing the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would authorize evacuees to apply for permanent residency following a year inside the country, similar to reassurance granted inside the past to people from Iraq, Cuba with every one other accompanied by Vietnam. Biden not long ago gave the attempt a boost when he endorsed the idea of adding it to an upcoming Ukraine assistance bill, a go welcomed by a coalition that includes veterans, devout organizations with every one other accompanied by resettlement agencies.

"They are facing a ticking hour dated bomb of what happens if they don't obtain SIV or asylum status," said Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, president of Lutheran Immigration with every one other accompanied by Refugee Service. "Do they obtain deported spine to Afghanistan with every one other accompanied by into harm's way?"

In the meantime, Afghans are trying to stitch with every one other new lives while condition observation has shifted to Ukraine with every one other accompanied by other matters. At a recent position of employment fair inside Alexandria, Virginia, there were hundreds of evacuees, including Arafat Safi, a former older official inside Afghan's overseas affairs management dividing who came to the U.S. accompanied by his wife, quartet children with every one other accompanied by mother.

He's hoping to land a position of employment inside scheme management or international development, to use an education that includes a master's degree from the U.K. So far, he's landed a position while a Pashto-English interpreter with every one other accompanied by is delivering packages for Amazon on the side while his wife, Madina, works inside the bakery segment of a supermarket.

Safi said he still hopes to find a better position of employment with every one other accompanied by is eager to obtain permanent residency. But he never complained inside a lengthy meeting at the family's apartment inside Alexandria. An intricate with every one other accompanied by vibrant Afghan rug — the only ownership the family brought from place of residence — occupies a prominent place inside the living room.

"I'm extremely fortunate to exist here, to exist welcomed by the U.S. society. I met a a large amount of friends here who are checking on me almost every one day," said the 35-year-old Safi. "And it's amazing. But there's a small small portion of me that misses Afghanistan with every one other accompanied by that misses my people."

Hasrat said he has little hour dated to believe concerning anything other than his family spine place of residence with every one other accompanied by the danger they face from the Taliban. A 29-year-old former competitive boxer, he rides a bike to his position of employment while an administrative subordinate at a medical office. After taxes with every one other accompanied by the money he sends home, he hardly has sufficient to pay his bills. His roommates, who are still learning English, have flat less with every one other accompanied by have problems making the rent.

Most nights, Hasrat waits until it's late sufficient to have a video talk accompanied by his family. On one recent call, he tried to fasten the commemoration of his kids' birthdays nevertheless was sad to register his feminine child doesn't flat know him.

"I am telling them that, 'yeah, I am happy,' since if I told them my circumstances here they will exist sad," he said. "But if no indeed one is there to lay clasp of protected from danger keeping of your wife, how tin you exist happy?"


Watson reported from San Diego.

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