fbpx Some Afghan Refugee Children Arriving Alone in the U.S. - Documented

Some Afghan Refugee Children Arriving Alone in the U.S.

Plus: Immigrant detainees allege retaliation after hunger strike, Lawmakers want Biden to prioritize LGBTQ+ Afghans for evacuation

The Department of Health and Human Services officials told CBS News that some Afghan refugee children who were evacuated are arriving to the U.S. without family members. Roughly 34 Afghan children were labeled as unaccompanied minors and some were sent to HHS-run shelters for undocumented migrant youth. In a statement, HHS said it is working to make sure those children are placed with “licensed care providers that are able to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services.” According to two people familiar with the situation, U.S. refugee agency officials informed shelter operators to prepare for more unaccompanied minors to arrive. CBS News 

Immigrant Detainees Allege Violation of First Amendment

The American Civil Liberties Union, Centro Legal De La Raza and California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice filed a complaint last week on behalf of eight immigrant detainees against Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They alleged the agency and its contractors retaliated against detainees who spoke out about inhumane conditions. The immigrant detainees held hunger strikes in numerous California immigration jails to emphasize “dangerous conditions” and a lack of COVID-19 precautions and were allegedly punished. Advocates argued that ICE officials and contracted employees violated the immigrants’ First Amendment rights. Bakersfield 

LGBTQ+ Afghans Fear for Their Lives in Kabul

N, a 20-year-old student living in Afghanistan, believes she will be targeted by the Taliban because of her sexual orientation. She’s currently hiding until she and her family can leave the country. Advocates are afraid that LGBTQ+ Afghans will become more vulnerable under the Taliban, which could choose to apply death penalty for LGBTQ+ conduct like they did from 1996 to 2001. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) called on the State Department include LGBTQ+ Afghans in its evacuation plans. “The return of the Taliban is a virtual death sentence for LGBTQ Afghans, and the Biden Administration must step up to protect our siblings in Afghanistan because time is of the essence,” Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal, also said in a statement. NBC News 

Afghan Family Starting a New Life in Texas

Zar Mohammed Yousafazi, an interpreter working alongside the U.S. military in Afghanistan, taught English to Afghan soldiers and Pashto to American troops. He also helped negotiate agreements with tribal leaders to stop attacks on Americans and instructed Afghans on how to use American weapons. Yousafazi has since dealt with constant attacks from the Taliban, including his third son being kidnapped for ransom by militants in 2017. On Aug. 14, the family of nine was evacuated on a U.S. military flight to Virginia. The family is now settling into a new apartment in southwest Houston. Yousafazi and his wife, Bibi, said their only daughter now has a completely different future from the one that she would’ve had if they stayed in Afghanistan. The New York Times 

Two DACA Recipients Can Attend University of Oxford

Two Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients were approved by U.S. federal officials to attend the University of Oxford in England, curbing fears they could not return to the U.S. Jin Park, a Queens resident, became the first Dreamer to be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship. Park was awarded the scholarship in 2018 while attending Harvard University studying molecular and cell biology. He now attends Harvard Medical School in Boston. The second recipient is Santiago Potes, a Miami resident. The 2020 graduate from Columbia University hopes to use his time abroad to “give back to the United States, which has given me every opportunity to succeed.” The Associated Press

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