Save Aysha and her Family

Please join me and my family in fighting to save a heroic Afghan interpreter, Muhammad Kamran, and his family from the Taliban. The Kamran family, whose case has been highlighted by several outlets including NBC News, is in critical danger because Muhammad worked for the US military and War on Terror for 10 years. Yet the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied Muhammad and his family visas for unstated, nebulous "discretionary reasons" and has been stonewalling several bipartisan members of Congress for more than two years on why they denied the case. The family is living in hiding in a neighboring country and in critical danger. We are working now on preparing a private sponsorship to Canada for the family as well as continuing to work with Congress to demand answers from USCIS on why the case was denied.

I am a graduate student at Cornell University and a volunteer for No One Left Behind, and I’ve been fighting for over three years to save the Kamran family. My family and I tried to sponsor the Kamran family for humanitarian visas to the United States to save their lives, as I wrote about in USA Today. But USCIS denied the cases without bothering to read them, despite the strong support of a former Navy Lieutenant who had personally worked with Muhammad in Afghanistan. We continue to work hard to save the Kamran family through a sponsorship to Canada or through Congress reviewing the US cases. However, since Muhammad is in hiding and unable to work, we need help financially supporting the Kamran family while we try to get them visas to a safer country.

Muhammad's Work for the US Military

As a US military interpreter, Muhammad directly saved American soldiers' lives, including one time he dashed into an ambushed vehicle under Taliban fire. He was trusted by his military supervisors who praised his work ethic and dedication to serving the US mission in Afghanistan, and his incredible skill of fluently speaking five languages and all 10 dialects of his native language made him indispensable on Special Forces night raids on Taliban insurgents. But the Taliban considers him a criminal for supporting the US and coalition forces, and the Taliban accused him of converting to Christianity. The Taliban is working hard to find and kill Muhammad, his wife, and his five young children. The whole family has been living in hiding for more than five years. They are living in daily fear of being discovered and killed by the Taliban. You can hear Muhammad's story in his own words in our 4-min YouTube video  or an interview on The Michael Calderin Show .

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You can also read more about Muhammad's case in NBC News , The Christian Post , McClatchy , RedState ,  The Ithaca Voice , and The Sacramento Bee .

Over the last two years, several bipartisan members of Congress have written multiple letters, including one letter with 38 signatures, and made multiple inquiries to the Department of Homeland Security about the case. Despite DHS or USCIS officials testifying on multiple occasions that they would cooperate with Congress’s inquiries, DHS continues to stonewall Congress. We are grateful that several members of Congress are continuing to demand answers on the case from the Trump Administration, and we are additionally pursuing a private sponsorship to Canada for the Kamran family since immigration of refugees to the US remains difficult.

As we work to try to get the family visas to North America,  we are continuing to financially support the Kamran family. Our financial support is the only reason the family has survived since they are living illegally in hiding in Pakistan. Muhammad has no way to work and is often beaten by police who come to his house searching for undocumented immigrants. He has to pay a bribe to avoid being arrested and murdered. We have spent over $100,000 on living expenses and medical bills for the family over the last 3 ½ years. 

The Kamran Family’s Story

When the US military mostly pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban gained strength in Afghanistan and killed many interpreters or their family members in revenge. One of Muhammad's brothers and a nephew, Sahil, who was also an interpreter, were shot and left for dead in an assassination attempt on Muhammad and his family. After the Taliban ambush, Muhammad fled his home district, just in time to escape a second Taliban attack that destroyed their family home. Consequently, Muhammad lost all contact with US military personnel who could have helped him apply for an SIV visa.

When I learned about Muhammad and his family's plight over two years ago, I was determined to do everything possible to save their lives. Muhammad had tried to apply to the US as a refugee on his own, but he was denied for “discretionary security reasons,” a very common problem for former military interpreters and their families. When Muhammad's refugee case was denied, he was devastated and lost all hope for saving his life and his family's lives. He said the only option left for him was to surrender to the Taliban, thinking that after the Taliban tortured and killed him, they would stop looking for his children. I told him not to give up and promised him to find a way to save their lives.

What You Can Do

Please help us keep our promise to Muhammad to save his life and his family's lives. They do not deserve to suffer and die because of Muhammad's service to the US military. Muhammad is a hero who faithfully served the US mission in Afghanistan for over 10 years and is now in grave danger because the Taliban is determined to get revenge. He has already lost everything except his and his family's lives because of his service to America, but he is still proud of his choice to work for the US military. All he wants in return is the chance to bring his daughters to safety and to give them a future. 

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We are not willing to leave this family behind to be killed by the same terrorists that Muhammad risked his life to fight for so many years. The funds contributed to this page will be used for living expenses for Muhammad and his family as we continue the fight to get them to safety. Here are some ways you can help.

1. Contribute to and/or share this Go Fund Me page if you are able to.

2. If you wish to contribute to our Go Fund Me page that is dedicated to raising funds for the private sponsorship to Canada, you can find that here .

3. We are continuing to work with Congress to demand that USCIS tell Congress why they denied the case. Especially if your Representative or Senators are Republicans, please get in touch (email [email redacted]) if you would be willing to reach out to them and ask them to support our efforts.

4. Please also consider signing our Change.Org petition in support of the family.

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Organizer

Kristy Perano 
Organizer
Ithaca, NY
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