Save Aysha and her Family

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Raised by 19 people in 12 months
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 was recently reported on by 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 his visa and is now stonewalling Congress on why they denied the case. USCIS recently re-opened the family’s refugee case due to pressure from Congress, but the family is still waiting for their visas and is living in hiding and in critical danger.

I am a graduate student at Cornell University and a volunteer for No One Left Behind, and I’ve been fighting for over two 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. Although we’ve recently succeeded in getting the family’s refugee case re-opened, we need help financially supporting the Kamran family while we try to get them visas.

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 and is working hard to find and kill Muhammad, his wife, and his four young daughters. The whole family has been living in hiding for more than four 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 a recent interview on The Michael Calderin Show .

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On May 22nd, Representatives Jamie Raskin, Tom Reed, Pramila Jayapal, and John Garamendi sent a letter to USCIS reiterating their request for a briefing on the family’s case. Previously, in July 2018, 38 bipartisan members of Congress sent a letter to former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asking for the reason that the Kamran family's refugee case was denied. USCIS took several months to respond and refused to answer Congress’s questions about why the case was denied, despite then Secretary Nielsen promising a briefing to Rep. Raskin  in December 2018. Four bipartisan members of Congress sent an additional letter on February 14th, 2019 demanding to know why the family case was denied. In response, USCIS re-opened the case but is still ignoring Congress’s request to review the reason for the denial.

Muhammad's case has been reported on by NBC News , The Christian Post , McClatchy , RedState ,  The Ithaca Voice , and The Sacramento Bee .

We are thrilled that several members of Congress are strongly supporting the case and were able to get the case re-considered. But we are continuing to financially support the Kamran family, and we have spent over $90,000 on living expenses, medical bills, and filing fees and other legal expenses over the last 2 ½ years. 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.

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.

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. In what our lawyer says is the most egregious case she has ever seen, USCIS denied Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases because his refugee case had been denied and without even bothering to figure out why the refugee case had been denied. Thus, they denied Muhammad's humanitarian parole case for “discretionary reasons” without even knowing what those discretionary reasons were. This is effectively a death sentence for the entire family. USCIS refused to even allow Muhammad's sister and brother, who live in the United States, to raise his young daughters, claiming that even his young daughters are a security concern.

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Please help us raise money to continue to support Muhammad and his family to keep them alive while their refugee case is reconsidered. 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. 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 will be used for living expenses for Muhammad and his family as we continue the fight to get them to safety. Please also consider signing our Change.Org petition in support of the family here .

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