World Relief Triad has welcomed 70 Afghans since the fall of Kabul in August 2021.
Zuhurullah Sharifi served the U.S. military under the threat of the Taliban and now lives in the U.S. without assurance of his future. In Afghanistan, Mr. Sharifi maintained U.S. Army facilities. He managed teams that ensured the proper function of generators, additional power supplies, and staffed carpenters across multiple provinces. One of the reasons our men and women who served were able to maintain mission focus was because Mr. Sharifi made sure their environment wasn’t a distraction. This service came at a cost.
Zuhurullah was stationed away from his family for up to six months at a time. His life was under threat of Taliban retaliation. He recalls the fear he felt when the Taliban questioned his mother, and the panic he felt when he was told the Taliban was on the road not far from his location, “if they would have found me, they would have killed me” he said. Kabul fell in August 2021 and forced thousands of Afghanis to flee the country they called home.
Rather than a welcome to the U.S. that allows for full participation in society, the Sharifi family was awarded internal unrest. In an expression of exhaustion, Zuhurullah notes, “Permanent residency is linked to everything. What will happen if our status fails, and all of a sudden, my driver’s license is invalid? How will we get around or deposit money into the bank? How will I provide for my family?” He goes on to ask how his children will get to contribute to this society, or how he will credential his advanced degree in the U.S. to restart the business he lost once Afghanistan fell.
The passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act cannot be reduced to an exchange of services. This bill must be seen as an imperative to honor those who risked their lives to serve this country with an incentive of peace we were unable to provide. To the minority that opposed this bill in Mr. Sharifi’s words, “Why bring us here if we were such a threat?” It lacks integrity to utilize fear to now cast suspicion on those who were once indispensable. We urge the Senate to provide the stability of a pathway to permanent status for our Afghan neighbors and allies.
Join us in this effort to create a more stable and secure future for Afghan families in the US. Advocate today.