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U.S. Racing to Evacuate Afghans from Kabul

Plus: Afghan-American marriage and life in limbo, advocates say Texas judge mistakenly reinstated Remain in Mexico

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Ismail has been afraid to leave his house since the Taliban took over Kabul. He is one of many Afghans who worked with the U.S. over the last two decades and is now desperate for the U.S. government’s help in leaving Afghanistan. The collapse of Kabul left the U.S. racing to evacuate personnel from its embassy and relocate tens of thousands of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants. Even though the Taliban claimed they won’t harm individuals who worked for foreign sources, “Taliban are the people that they never keep their promise,” Ismail said. He applied for a visa in 2011 and was denied because the embassy wasn’t able to reach his supervisor who wrote the recommendation letter. CNN 

In other national immigration news…

Afghan-American Marriage and Life in Limbo

Zorah Aziz, a California resident, said she could hear Afghanistan coming apart when she was on the phone with her husband, Nazir Ahmad Qasimi. Aziz said Qasimi was approved for a U.S. visa, but had his departure delayed due to the pandemic. With everything going on in Afghanistan, Aziz doesn’t believe she will see her husband before the delivery of their first baby, who will be born early next year. Even though Qasimi doesn’t have any direct ties to the U.S. forces, he could be in danger since he’s married to an American and works for a U.S.-based company. NBC News 

Migrant Advocates Say Texas Judge Misinterpreted Immigration Law

U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ordered the Biden administration last week to enforce Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, which the administration appealed on Monday. Legal advocates said the Texas judge is misinterpreting the law and if the policy restarts, it could cause more unstable conditions for migrants in Mexican border cities. Robert Painter, legal director of Texas-based organization American Gateways, said it hasn’t been established legally if the Migrant Protection Protocols could become a blanket policy for all asylum seekers. Roughly 70,000 non-Mexican asylum seekers were sent to await their asylum hearings in Mexico through MPP, forcing them into refugee camps and turning some migrants into targets for kidnappers and drug cartels. The Texas Tribune 

Research Examines Immigration Enforcement in Arizona

Aaron Chaflin, an assistant professor of criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, started examining the effect on crime that stemmed from the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which cracked down on undocumented immigrant workers. But he didn’t expect to find much, saying that “people who are undocumented don’t seem to be a big part of the crime problem in this country.” Instead, Chaflin discovered that policies like the Department of Homeland Security’s “Secure Communities” program has allowed law enforcement to identify undocumented immigrants residing in the area. He also said the 2008 act likely contributed to Arizona’s declining Mexican immigrant population, which decreased by 20 percent. Penn Today 

Texas Spending $25 Million on Two-Mile Border Barrier

The Texas Department of Transportation is getting ready to spend close to $25 million for an almost two-mile concrete barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border in Eagle Pass. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has pushed to use state funding to build sections of the wall. The project calls for a temporary fence toward the right of way along State Loop 480, which the Department of Public Safety has declared a high-traffic area for border crossings. The barrier work should be done in December. a spokesperson for Abbott said. The construction is part of the Texas Gov.’s three initiatives for the border: “building a border wall, utilizing strategic barriers and erecting temporary fencing.” ABC 13

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