Ahmad worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2005 to 2011. Because he helped our military, he and his family have been repeatedly threatened by the Taliban and live in constant fear for their safety. In 2005, Ahmad was forced to flee his hometown in Afghanistan when a Taliban commander moved into the village. The commander labeled Ahmad a "traitor" for helping the U.S. and has instructed Taliban fighters to kill him.
Ahmad stopped working for the U.S. Armed Forces in 2011 because his health was declining. Since that time, the Taliban have increased their efforts to locate and kill Ahmad. As a result, he and his family have been on the run, moving between different homes and towns on a regular basis to try to avoid being found by the Taliban. In fact, as recently as this February, Taliban visited Ahmad's former residence and asked the current residents about his whereabouts.
In 2016, Ahmad began the arduous process of applying for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) for himself, his wife, and his son. Although applying for an SIV is free, all applicants are required to undergo a physical examination as the last step of the visa process, which costs approximately $500 U.S. Dollars per person for those located in Afghanistan.** Because Ahmad has not worked since 2011, he has very little income to afford this high cost. In addition, Ahmad suffers from diabetes, and his wife suffers from a stomach ulcer. As a result, he has spent almost all of his savings on medicine for himself and his wife, making the $1500 medical examination cost insurmountable.
We are asking for any contributions you are able to make to help our client afford his medical examination and complete the final step in his visa process. Once his medical examination has been completed, Ahmad can rejoin his other family members in the U.S. and have the safety and security a life in Afghanistan cannot provide.
*Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect the client's safety.
^Ahmad is a client of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). IRAP organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid and systemic policy advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders. For more information, please visit https://refugeerights.org/.
**More information about the medical examination can be found on the Department of State's website at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/interview/prepare/medical-examination.html
IRAP has legally represented the client for the past few years as he began working on his visa application. When the funds are collected, we will be reaching out to his son, who we have been in contact with to ensure the funds are delivered to Ahmad for his and his family's medical examinations!
- Andrew C
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- Shahz Siddiqui
- Stephanie Shields
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