Afghan soldier seeking US asylum freed from immigration hold & More Trending News


HOUSTON — An Afghan soldier seeking U.S. asylum who was arrested whereas making an attempt to cross the Mexico border has been freed and reunited along with his brother after spending months in immigration detention, his lawyer mentioned Wednesday.

Abdul Wasi Safi’s launch from custody in a detention middle in Eden, Texas, got here after a decide dropped an immigration cost towards him on the request of federal prosecutors.

Wasi Safi, an intelligence officer for the Afghan National Security Forces, fled Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. forces in August 2021, fearing reprisals from the Taliban as a result of he had offered U.S. forces with info on terrorists. In the summer season of 2022, he started a treacherous journey from Brazil to the U.S.-Mexico border, the place he was arrested in September close to Eagle Pass, Texas. He had hoped to hitch his brother, who lives in Houston.

Prosecutors filed a movement asking a federal decide in Del Rio, Texas, to dismiss the immigration cost “in the interest of justice” and on Monday the decide granted that request.

Zachary Fertitta, certainly one of his legal protection attorneys, mentioned Wednesday that Wasi Safi is receiving medical care at an undisclosed location however that he plans to talk at a information convention on Friday in Houston.

Fertitta mentioned Wasi Safi and his brother “are overjoyed to be reunited.”

Jennifer Cervantes, certainly one of Wasi Safi’s immigration attorneys, mentioned there was no cause to maintain him in custody, particularly provided that the FBI has already spoken to him and located no issues.

“He’s certainly not a danger to the United States. He’s done a lot of good service for the United States,” Cervantes mentioned.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat, belongs to a bipartisan group of lawmakers that has been working to free Wasi Safi. She mentioned in an announcement Tuesday night time that she expects him to reach in her hometown by Friday.

The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Customs and Border Protection and ICE, has not responded to an electronic mail seeking remark Wednesday.

Sami-ullah Safi, Wasi Safi’s brother, was employed by the U.S. navy for a number of years as a translator. Sami Safi mentioned he’s happy the legal case has been dropped however that he stays pissed off about how his sibling has been handled in mild of his household’s help for the united statesin Afghanistan.

“If we categorize my brother’s service, how many lives he has saved because of his service and how many lives I have saved because of my service being a combat translator?” Sami Safi mentioned.

Wasi Safi’s case was first reported by The Texas Tribune.

On his journey from Brazil to the U.S., Wasi Safi suffered severe accidents from beatings, together with broken entrance enamel and listening to loss in his proper ear.

Fertitta mentioned Wasi Safi’s accidents weren’t sufficiently handled whereas he was detained but it surely’s unclear how severe of a priority they’ve turn into.

“I’m going to have to wait to be advised by the medical personnel on that,” Fertitta said.

The lawyers, lawmakers and military organizations that have been working to free Wasi Safi say his case highlights how America’s chaotic military withdrawal continues to harm Afghan citizens who helped the U.S. but were left behind.

Nearly 76,000 Afghans who worked with American soldiers since 2001 as translators, interpreters and partners arrived in the U.S. on military planes after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. But their immigration status remains unclear after Congress failed to pass a proposed law, the Afghan Adjustment Act, that would have solidified their legal residency status.

Cervantes said Wasi Safi’s case is not unique and that other Afghans seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border have also faced difficulty getting their cases properly reviewed. She said she hopes her work “sheds some light on that and (helps) these guys get what I think is the right thing to do, what I think is fair for them.”


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Afghan soldier seeking US asylum freed from immigration hold

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