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Report Reveals More Afghans Crossing into U.S. via Mexico

A Border Patrol vehicle patrols a section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence near Yuma, Ariz. David McNew / Getty Images
A Border Patrol vehicle patrols a section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence near Yuma, Ariz. David McNew / Getty Images

Following the second anniversary of the United States pullout of Afghanistan and the takeover of the country by the Taliban terrorist network, a new report from National Public Radio (NPR) tracked how some Afghan civilians are coming into the U.S. via the U.S.-Mexican border.

According to NPR, tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have made their way to the U.S., with some still coming through other countries along the way, risking their lives as they cross the border from Mexico.

U.S. border agents apprehended more than 2,000 Afghans in just one year after the Taliban takeover, which was a 30-fold jump from the year before, U.S. government data show.

The trip is not an easy one across Central American countries Colombia, Panama and Mexico, particularly as Afghans do not speak Spanish and are not accustomed to the local traditions or terrain.

Many of them leave behind homes, families, jobs and must spend their life savings to make the trip.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says that following the country's takeover from the Taliban, more than 2,500 Afghans have made the trip and crossed into the U.S. via illegal crossings, and they could be turned away unless they could prove imminent danger or a medical emergency.

NPR's Tom Bowman spoke with several Afghan civilians and their families, allowing them to share their experiences in coming to the U.S. Bowman spoke with Shafi Amani and his three-year-old daughter Yousra, who was a healthy toddler when she and her family fled Afghanistan a year ago via Pakistan.

According to Amani, his daughter had a stroke in Pakistan, and he was able to get medicine for her. Amani and his family decided to leave Pakistan, get a tourist visa for Mexico, and arrive in Mexico City with his wife and daughter.

For the Amanis living in Mexico was not the best situation, given that he could not speak Spanish and the lack of medical care for their daughter during their six-month stay. The Amanis decided to smuggle themselves into the U.S., hiring a contact that would help.

"When we crossed the border, believe me, that was the day - the hardest decision for me because for my daughter and my wife and part of my life," Amani told Bowman. Amani explained that two men showed up, took them to a border wall around 30 feet, and created a harness where they pulled his wife, his daughter, and him. After they crossed into the U.S., the family got ready to cross the New River but were found by the U.S. Border Patrol and sent to an immigration camp.

The family has since filed for asylum and lives in a northern Virginia suburb among a decently sized Afghan expat community.

Related Story: Afghan With Terror Ties Apprehended at Border Near California

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