Afghan soldier seeks asylum after being arrested at US-Mexico border

HOUSTON (AP) — Abdul Wasi Safi kept documents detailing his time as an Afghan soldier who worked with the US military close to him as he made the months-long treacherous journey from Brazil to the US-Mexico border.

He fled Afghanistan fearing retribution from the Taliban after the Americans withdrew in August 2021 and hoped the documents would give him asylum in the US. Despite the dense jungle, raging rivers and beatings, he kept these documents safe.

But after crossing the US-Mexico border near Eagle Pass, Texas, in September, Wasi Safi was arrested on federal immigration charges. He remains in a detention center in Eden, Texas, and fears his asylum application may be denied.

Wasya Safi’s brother, lawyers, military organizations and a bipartisan group of lawmakers working to free him say his case shows how the chaotic US troop withdrawal continues to hurt Afghan citizens who helped the US but were left behind.

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