How one Afghan family made the perilous journey across the U.S.-Mexico border

ALEXANDRIA,Va. — Shafi Amani holds his three- time-old son Yousra outside the Casey Clinic in Alexandria,Va., where they go every couple of weeks for care. She has a slip of curls and large brown eyes that roll back at times. Her legs are limp, like a rag doll. She can’t walk or speak or stink food. The stem of a plastic feeding tube pokes out from her stomach. Amani carries his son into their small apartment just down the road, inside a cluster of red slipup structures.

Yousra was a healthy toddler when she and her family fled Afghanistan further than a time agone taking a dirt road overland to Pakistan. That’s where goods got worse.” When we were there, my son, her fever goes up,” he says, holding Yousra on his stage in their small living room.” And we didn’t understand. After some tests the croaker tells us this is a stroke” Amani got some medicine for Yousra but decided to leave formerly more, getting a rubberneck visa for Mexico, moving a step closer to demanded medical care.

” I allowed Mexico is voguish place for me,” Amani says. Arriving in Mexico City with his woman Frista, and their son, the couple snappily learned it wasn’t enough for Yousra’s conditions.” Mexico was not a safe place for me because it was truly delicate,” he says. delicate he adds because he didn’t speak Spanish — officers said he should learn. And he would to pay for health care but had little marketable. So his son got little medical help for six months.” There was no backing for my son,” Amani recalls.

” She needs some treatment, medicine, croakers and these goods.” WORLD An Afghan teen makesittotheU.S., but his family is left ahead in Kabul Over the wall He made a drastic choice. The family would be smuggled into the United States. In Mexicali, a border municipality in northern Mexico, he set up a contact who directed him to a hotel and a uncommunicative woman who would help. The woman asked for$ 500 to move each person across the border, an amount he was suitable to reduce to$ 200 each.” That was the day, the hardest decision for me — because for my son and my woman and my life,” he says. Two men also showed up and took them to a border wall, nearly 30 bases tall, and fashioned a kind of harness. Amani and Frista just watched.

” In the wall they put commodity, like a rope,” he says.” After that they told us come first, my woman.” Shaf Amani and his son, Yousra, in Alexandria,Va., onAug. 3, 2023. Catie Dull/ NPR Frista went first, hoisted over the wall. also Shafi, adhering his limp son to his casket, rose up the wall by the ropes, and over. They were now inside the United States just as the sun was setting. Standing on a long stretch of vacated road. In front of them was the New River, one of the most weakened in the nation, bulging with artificial and estate runoff.

They got ready to cross.” We didn’t know what would be. How much the water will be, the deep,” he says. Suddenly they could see headlights coming down theroad.ItwasU.S. Border Control and an officer signaled them down from the conduit. Shafi was suitable to communicate in broken English.” He told me to stand up,” he says.” And we come and we sit in the machine. After that we went to the immigration camp.” Escaping the Taliban Amani noway planned tocometotheU.S., indeed after the Taliban took over. And he admits he would a dim view of the United States, saying the Americans abandoned the Afghans. That view took root the day in late August 2021whentheU.S. withdrew from Afghanistan.

Thousands of Afghans surged toward the Kabul Airport to flee that day, stumbling and hopeless to get through thegate.eventuallyaU.S. service airlift brought some 124,000 Afghans out, and of those farther than 80,000cametotheU.S. Amani was conservative of making the trip to the field and says the Taliban did not at first feel hanging.” Because they told us everything is normal now,” he says.” Stay in Kabul.” Back also he was 31 times old he was a structure contractor, working on Afghan Army camps and delivering supplies. He and his family were living in Logar Province just outside Kabul. But after the Taliban set his bank accounts and combed his business records, Amani was hysterical his government work would get him in trouble.

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