Posted by on January 25, 2023 10:46 pm
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Afghan soldier who sought asylum at US-Mexico border freed after months in detention

Sami-ullah Safi holds photographs of his brother, Abdul Wasi Safi, as he talks about his brother’s journey to the U.S. during an interview Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP

Afghan soldier who sought asylum at US-Mexico border freed after months in detention

Brady Knox January 25, 10:04 PMJanuary 25, 10:04 PM Video Embed

A former Afghan soldier who was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border while seeking asylum was freed from detention after several months.

Abdul Wasi Safi, who worked as an intelligence officer with the U.S.-aligned Afghan National Army, fled the country following the Taliban takeover in August 2021, fearing reprisals.

Last summer, he traveled to Brazil, then to the U.S.-Mexico border. He was hoping to reunite with his brother, also a former Afghan soldier, who lives in Houston, according to the Associated Press.

Safi was arrested and detained at an immigration center in Eden, Texas. He was released by the order of a judge following a motion by prosecutors to dismiss his case.

Zachary Fertitta, one of his criminal defense attorneys, said he and his brother, who has been advocating his release, “are overjoyed to be reunited.” A press conference is set for Friday when Safi is finished being treated by medical personnel at an undisclosed location.

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His brother, Sami-ullah Safi, argued that his and his brother’s service to the United States made him deserving of asylum.

“If we categorize my brother’s service, how many lives he has saved because of his service and how many lives I have saved because of my service being a combat translator?” he said.

The FBI reportedly interviewed Safi following his arrest. He was dismissed after nothing concerning was found.

“He’s certainly not a danger to the United States. He’s done a lot of good service for the United States,” immigration attorney Jennifer Cervantes said.

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Safi suffered injuries from severe beatings he endured on his trip from Brazil to the U.S.-Mexico border. The beatings left him with damaged front teeth and hearing loss in one ear. He said he was not properly treated for the injuries when he was detained, so he is receiving further medical attention now.

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