By: Kayla Young
A year after the fall of Kabul, Afghans who fled to the United States still face an uncertain future. Organizations such as the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy are now pushing for passage of the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act and a pathway to citizenship.
When Taliban insurgents took control of Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, in August of last year, Bahroz Mohmand watched the news in disbelief from the United States.
The 33-year-old interpreter never expected to see his home country revert to Taliban control.
“I was surprised. I was pissed off. I was sad,” Mohmand said. “It was a very difficult situation for me to basically calm myself down because I was worried about the family.”
Mohmand moved to the United States in 2012 under a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), made possible by his work as a Dari and Pashto interpreter for the U.S. Army.
“I was born in war. I was raised in war. I never saw the good side of my country,” he said. “The only time that it was good was basically when from 2001, when the U.S. Army came until, you know, August 15 that everything collapsed under the Taliban regime.”
He is now a U.S. citizen. But for many of the 76,000 Afghans who fled to the U.S. in the past year, their immigration options are more limited. Many fear eventual deportation, including Mohmand’s niece, 17-year-old Tahira Askari.
Askari described the chaos of her evacuation in her native language, Dari. Mohmand interpreted.
“Everything was falling apart. People were running around stores. You could see families getting desperate, separated from each other. Everybody was heading towards the airport,” she said.
Askari and her family boarded an evacuation flight to Qatar, then Germany and eventually reunited with Mohmand in Charlotte.
Mohmand says for Askari, life under Taliban rule is a foreign concept.Read more: Afghans in U.S. await stability and immigration answers | WFAE 90.7 – Charlotte’s NPR News Source