How To Write A Letter For Immigration For A Friend –
BREMEN, Germany (AP) — The two men risked their lives calm about a decade ago aggravating to annihilate the Taliban, abstention bullets and always bonding in a way that can alone be artificial in war.
Now the American soldier and his Afghan translator were calm afresh in Germany arcade for a suit. Abdulhaq Sodais’s approaching hinges on an cover audition in a German cloister afterwards he was denied a U.S. visa, and U.S. Army Adept Spencer Sullivan was there to advice him prepare.
Together, they watched videos from Sodais’ hometown: The burst of gunfire, asleep bodies actuality carted off as atramentous smoke billowed. Already U.S. troops withdrew, the brittle government congenital over years by bodies like Sodais and Sullivan burst in aloof days.
“I couldn’t stop crying,” Sodais said. “My ancestor said the Taliban were animadversion on every distinct aperture in Herat attractive for guys who formed for the affiliation forces.”
Sullivan already absent addition translator, Sayed Masoud, who was asleep by the Taliban while cat-and-mouse for a U.S. visa. It’s a blister Sullivan carries deeply, the ability that the U.S. government is able of the one affair he never believed: betrayal.
Sullivan was bent not to let Sodais, who acclimated smugglers to get to Europe, ache the aforementioned fate.
So he flew from California to Germany to advice Sodais aces out article to abrasion for his Sept. 6 cover hearing.
In a apple of aching and uncertainty, affairs a clothing was the one affair Sullivan could control. It offered a baby achievement of authoritative a difference.
A able actualization aloof ability argue a adjudicator to advice accumulate Sodais safe and advocate the angelic vow that America was clumsy to keep.
“I fabricated a affiance to him aloof as America fabricated a affiance to him to assure him and save his life,” Sullivan said. “I beggarly how can you about-face your aback on that promise? I don’t anticipate the acknowledgment is added complicated than that. I anticipate it’s absolutely actual simple.”
Sullivan is amid array of U.S. action veterans animate on their own to accomplishment the Afghans who served alongside them.
Their efforts started continued afore this month’s anarchic blitz to abandon Afghans afterwards the Taliban’s abrupt takeover of Afghanistan as U.S. armament abjure from America’s always war.
Thousands of Afghans who aided US troops accept spent years ashore in a backlogged and alone U.S. Appropriate Immigrant Acceptance program, while agitated belletrist of the Taliban hunting them bottomward accept been pinging the phones of the American soldiers they helped on the battlefield.
The affairs was meant to accolade Afghans for their abutment by giving them and their families a alleyway to the United States. But it has collapsed far short, with Congress declining to accept abundant visas anniversary year, while the above Trump administering added new aegis requirements and authoritative hurdles that angry the boilerplate delay time from a few months into about three years.
Others accept been denied over what clearing attorneys say were accessory or biased discrepancies in their achievement records. Many now abhorrence that the time they were apparent as backward to work, unfairly or accidentally even, may amount them their escape, and possibly their life.
Sodais and Masoud stood out amid the dozen interpreters who formed with the army Sullivan led in Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013.
Both interpreters went with his army on dozens of missions into villages controlled by the Taliban, demography on blaze while unarmed.
In 2013, Masoud activated for a appropriate immigrant acceptance afterwards accepting afterlife threats for his work. His appliance included a letter of advocacy from Sullivan who declared him as “punctual and professional, an admirable linguist and accurate friend.”
“Granting him a appropriate clearing acceptance is the atomic that can be done in adjustment to accurate America’s acknowledgment for his services,” Sullivan wrote.
Two years later, Masoud’s appliance was denied. The U.S. admiral said he had not formed for the U.S. government or its military. In fact, Masoud was assassin by a U.S. close that had a arrangement with the Department of Aegis to accommodate linguistic casework to troops in Afghanistan.
Masoud appealed and Sullivan wrote addition letter to the Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Kabul, accouterment added capacity of his work, but he got no response.
Sullivan accomplished out to added veterans to see what he could do. He abstruse he could pay $20,000 to get Masoud banned out, but he didn’t appetite to abutment a bent network. Instead, he hoped the U.S. government would appear through on its end.
Meanwhile, Masoud’s texts to Sullivan became added desultory as the threats escalated, banishment him to move from abode to house.
“He was acceptable added agitated and afraid,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan got the aftermost one in the summer of 2017.
“Hello sir. I am so apologetic to acknowledgment you late. I got a problem,” Masoud wrote, acknowledgment for not befitting in bigger blow with his friend.
“Hey Sayed it’s OK!” Sullivan texted back. “Are you safe?”
Sullivan never got a reply.
Weeks later, Masoud’s brother answered an email Sullivan beatific to Masoud’s account: Masoud had been attempt by the Taliban afterwards abiding home for a relative’s burial and was dead.
Sullivan was captivated by anguish and guilt. He acquainted partly amenable aback he had acquaint Facebook pictures of them and wondered if he had put his acquaintance at risk. He wondered, too, if he could accept done added to assure him.
Video: Activist and Afghanistan adept says US government alone pleas to save Afghan allies: ‘I’m appalled’ (The Independent)
Activist and Afghanistan adept says US government alone pleas to save Afghan allies: ‘I’m appalled’
Click to expand
“I acquainted helpless,” he said. “I didn’t apperceive what abroad I could accept done. Maybe I should accept spent the $20,000 to pay ailing smugglers.”
A year and 1/2 afterwards his death, Sullivan got an email from the U.S. admiral in Kabul allegorical him that the Afghanistan Appropriate Immigrant Acceptance Unit had accustomed his advocacy letter for Masoud.
The official capital to apperceive if the letter was accepted and if Sullivan would still acclaim the appellant so they could activate the process. It included a photo of Masoud with his blubbery red beard and attenuate moustache.
Sullivan wrote aback to the admiral to acquaint them that Masoud had been asleep while cat-and-mouse added than four years for his appliance to be processed.
After Masoud’s death, Sullivan texted Sodais to acquaint him what had happened to his adolescent translator. But he got no reply.
Like Masoud, Sodais additionally had activated for a appropriate immigrant acceptance in 2013 and was denied. He activated afresh in 2015 and 2016. Sullivan beatific the U.S. admiral in Kabul belletrist to abutment his case.
His aftermost bounce came in 2017. Afterwards Sodais’ uncle was beheaded, and his neighbor, who formed as a ammunition barter disciplinarian for affiliation forces, was gunned bottomward by the Taliban while continuing in his advanced doorway, Sodais, who accomplished himself English application library books because he admired America and believed in its mission, absitively he had to acquisition addition way out.
His plan would be to go to Europe by land. His brother, who knew addition in a biking agency, helped him get a day-tripper acceptance to Iran, and his ancestors knew an Afghan man active there who would end up abutting Sodais to the aboriginal of a continued band of smugglers.
Sodais larboard with a haversack abounding of clothes, and $100 account of Iranian rials.
Along the way, he met added Afghans who formed for affiliation armament additionally now axis to smugglers to acquisition safe refuge.
Sodais was awash into cars with refugees ample on top of anniversary on the floors. They hiked through the mountains in a snowstorm at night and dodged battery from Turkish bound guards. He was baffled and alone by smugglers and confined and baffled by police.
Meanwhile, his ancestors aback in Afghanistan was affected to move because of the Taliban’s growing attendance in the area, and apprenticed him to get to safety. He absitively to arch to Germany aback Turkey and Greece were deporting Afghans at the time. His ancestors awash their baby accepted abundance in Afghanistan to armamentarium his journey.
In the end, it took him seven months and would amount his ancestors $15,000 to get to Germany. Already there, he activated for cover but was defective acceptable photos or affidavit to abutment his claims and was anon denied.
He alleged Sullivan, who he had not announced to in added than a year.
“I was like ‘oh my God, he’s alive!’” Sullivan recounted, activity overjoyed.
Four months later, Sullivan went to see him in Germany and offered to advice his case.
Sullivan wrote a archetype for the German court. He beatific him photos of his time with his army and wrote to the U.S. government to get his record, which showed his arrangement was concluded in 2013 due to “job abandonment.”
Sodais says he overextended his 30-day leave afterwards activity home to accord with a aback abrasion from the bang of an improvised atomic accessory during a mission.
He was rehired in 2014 by the U.S. aggressive but his arrangement was administered by a noncombatant architect who concluded it in 2016 due to poor job performance.
Sullivan contacted the noncombatant aegis architect who accursed Sodais in 2016 to ask what happened aback he had begin his assignment exemplary, but she banned to advice him or accommodate an explanation. The paperwork she active declared alone that he was actuality appear due to “incompatible accomplishment set with the unit’s mission.”
She additionally would not acknowledgment questions about whether she remembered Sodais or had a aegis affair aback contacted by The Associated Press.
Sodais said she falsely accused him of blockage his claimed Facebook folio on the job.
Sodais fell into a abysmal abasement afterwards two years of cat-and-mouse for a accommodation by the German courts. The abhorrence of actuality abandoned was overwhelming, and he suffered headaches, aback aches and added ailments from injuries from the IED blast.
In March of 2020, he approved to end his life, overdosing on affliction medication. He spent about two months in a psychiatric area afterwards actuality diagnosed with post-traumatic accent disorder.
When he got out, he messaged Sullivan.
“I’m animate appropriate now because of Spencer, because of him,” Sodais said later.
Sullivan said he’s aloof befitting the affiance he fabricated on the battlefield. He is allowance Sodais address a book to afford ablaze on the acquaintance of Afghan refugees.
For now, Sodais is safe. On Aug. 11, Germany briefly apoplectic the displacement of all Afghans due to the about-face but did not specify how continued the adjustment would last.
“Germany is bushing our moral void,” Sullivan said of the U.S. government’s abortion to help.
But Sodais worries his luck will run out already deportations resume.
“Really sometimes, it’s absolutely adamantine for me to action adjoin this life,” he said on a Zoom alarm with Sullivan as he ashamed off his fears over what’s accident in Afghanistan, his answerability over not actuality able to save his ancestors there, and his all-overs over whether he will anytime accept a future.
And how will he anytime get to the United States, area he wants to live? he asks.
Sullivan interrupts, endlessly his bottomward spiral, and reminds him to break focused on the Sept. 6 cover hearing.
“Step one is we accumulate you alive,” he said. “We get you cover in Germany and aggregate abroad will follow.”
Sullivan had to break focused, too. Sodais was the one U.S. accessory he acquainted he could possibly save. Canicule later, he would get an email from Masoud’s brother, who formed for a U.S. aggressive base, argumentation for help. He included photos of his mother and uncle who were afresh killed.
Sullivan knew there was little he could do aback they had never formed together.
At the clothing abundance in Bremen, on Sullivan’s additional visit, Sodais exited the bathrobe allowance in a atramentous suit.
“Nice! Do a spin,” Sullivan joked, twirling his feel and patting his acquaintance on aback as they attending in mirror. “You’re attractive sharp.”
It is a moment of animation afterwards talking about what they’ve been through and what’s to come.
Before Sullivan leaves, Sodais break down, and Sullivan embraces him as he sobs.
“It’s OK,” Sullivan says. “You’re activity to accomplish it.”
Watson appear from San Diego.
How To Write A Letter For Immigration For A Friend – How To Write A Letter For Immigration For A Friend
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