Refugee rights group files suit to protect Afghan ally sons

Refugee rights group files lawsuit demanding US protect Afghan ally’s children from Taliban
1 min read
Washington, D.C.
08 October, 2021
Suit follows lack of response from US government on emergency petitions for protection under the Afghan Allies Protection
Thousands of Afghan children and other family members of SIV applicants remain left behind. (Getty)

 

On Thursday, the International Refugee Assistance Project filed a lawsuit demanding that Anthony Blinken and the State Department fulfil its obligation to protect America’s Afghan allies and their families.

The lawsuit is on behalf of “Mohammad,” an Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicant, and his two minor children. Mohammad now lives in California, but his children remain hiding in Afghanistan.

In August, Mohammad submitted an emergency petition for protection to the Secretary of State asking the US government to evacuate his children to safety. He followed up in September, but not received a response. IRAP maintains that this delay violates America’s legal obligations under the Afghan Allies Protection Act (AAPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which require the US to help Afghan allies who are in imminent danger while their SIV applications are pending.

“The US has a legal obligation under the Afghan Protection Act. That obligation didn’t end when the US withdrew in August,” IRAP litigation fellow Alexandra Zaretsky told The New Arab. “Thousands of Afghans have had to leave close family members behind. We’re working on helping them reunite.”

So far, IRAP has not heard back from the US government on this case.