You’d think that having your life threatened for working with the U.S. military would help your effort to reunite with your family—including a sick child—in the U.S., but that hasn’t been the case for Mohammad Hamid Ayoubi. He worked as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, until he was forced to quit and flee to his village after getting anonymous death threats for “working with infidels.” He eventually fled for Turkey, where he met Zarmina Noori, a fellow refugee who eventually became his wife.
Noori already had two sons, including a 14 year old with spina bifida, and Ayoubi grew to love them as his own. But the family was split apart in 2015—while Noori and her sons’ petition to resettle in the U.S. had been approved, Ayoubi, who had applied before they had met, still had his petition pending. They were forced to leave him behind, hoping that they would be able to bring him in “under a visa for spouses and unmarried children of refugees.” But despite having an interview a year and a half ago in February 2017, “his case hasn’t progressed. As of late September 2018, his application is still under administrative processing.”
“The U.S. government has not explained what’s causing the delay―it usually doesn’t comment on individual cases―but refugee resettlement has plummeted under Trump, who likened Syrian refugees to a Trojan horse and vowed to ban Muslims from the U.S. before taking office,” the Huffington Post reported. Apparently that also includes “a Trojan horse” who provided valuable skills to aid Americans, but Donald Trump has similarly shown contempt to others with who served in the military or have military ties. In the meantime, a separated family is suffering.
“Here, there is no friends,” Noori said. She struggles to provide care for one of her sons, who needs constant care. “No Afghan family,” she continued. “I’m not in contact with any families or people. I only have my sons and the nurse.” Advocate Shoshanna Malett “could only speculate as to what is causing the holdup in Ayoubi’s application,” but under an administration xenophobic as this one, you only need to connect the dots. “You couldn’t paint more of a humanitarian picture,” she said. “And I can’t get him out.” Noori: “We are a family. We need to be together.”