Afghan man sues US State Dept, wants to reunite with sons

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Washington [US], October 8 (ANI): An Afghan man living in California filed a lawsuit against the United States to reunite with his sons who are still in Afghanistan after American forces withdrew in August, according to a report.

The lawsuit was filed by the International Refugee Assistance Project on Thursday in a California federal court against the State Department on behalf of Mohammad, whose 9- and 11-year-old sons are still in the country, The Hill reported.

"Right now, my greatest wish is to hug my kids again," Mohammad said in a statement adding: "I ask that the United States government stand by its promises to Afghans like me who supported the US mission and protect the lives of my children."

Mohammad travelled across Afghanistan between 2016 and 2019 to promote women's and children's rights under a US Agency for International Development (USAID)-led initiative, according to the complaint.

The complaint states that his family received repeated death threats from the Taliban because of his work, prompting him to apply for the Special Immigrant Visa program in May 2019. He travelled to California a few months later for business, The Hill reported.

Mohammad was approved for the SIV in January 2021 and asked for applications for their sons to be expedited because they were in "imminent danger," according to the complaint. He allegedly filed an emergency request asking the State Department to evacuate his children in August after bullets struck the home they were in, but he has yet to receive a response, the publication reported.

The complaint also alleged that the State Department has failed to fulfill its duties to evacuate its children under the Afghan Allies Protection Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. He is asking the court to order the State Department to respond to his petition for his children, including travel assistance for them at the minimum.

"Removing his children from Afghanistan, where they are in daily peril, and reuniting them with their only remaining parent is essential to their survival and wellbeing," the complaint states.

After the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, hundreds of people rushed to the airport, which resulted in several days of chaos.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas previously said the United States has admitted more than 40,000 individuals evacuated from Afghanistan. Approximately 13 per cent of the 40,000 individuals were US citizens, 8 per cent lawful permanent residents, and 79 per cent Special Immigrant Visa holders, applicants, or other vulnerable Afghan nationals, according to Mayorkas, Sputnik reported. (ANI)

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