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Tipsheet

Lawmakers Ask Biden to Halt Removal Process for Afghan Ally Seeking Asylum

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

U.S. Representatives Michael Waltz (R-FL) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) are weighing in on the case of an Afghan ally of the United States, hoping to bring about something of a Christmas miracle for a man who fought alongside American troops and was forced to flee his home country due to persecution from the Taliban. 

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Abdul Wasi Safi, formerly a commando in the Afghan Special Forces, has been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection since being arrested near Eagle Pass, Texas, on September 30. He is now awaiting "expedited removal" from the United States after he admitted to entering the country illegally seeking asylum.

In a letter on Safi's behalf — reviewed exclusively by Townhall on Thursday afternoon before it was sent to President Biden — Waltz and Crenshaw explain why this ally who previously fought "shoulder to shoulder" with American Special Operations Forces deserves to have his fate reconsidered:

As a result of the fall of Kabul and the disastrous, hasty withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the biometric data of Afghans who had helped U.S. force was left behind and fell into Taliban hands. With this information, the Taliban launched a campaign of reprisals against the former Afghan government's security forces, hunting them down, jailing, torturing, and killing them and their families.

Because of these concerns, Mr. Safi was forced to flee Afghanistan and crossed into Pakistan. From there, he was able to secure a Brazilian visitor's visa. While waiting for an entry visa into the United States to reunite with his brother, himself a Special Immigrant Visa recipient, Mr. Safi was beaten and robbed.

As his personal situation worsened, Mr. Safi made the difficult decision to trek north, toward the U.S. southern border.

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Unlike the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant "got-aways" that pour into the country of unknown origin, criminal record, or future intention, Safi freely admitted that he had entered the country illegally when he encountered officers and made his request for asylum in the United States. Still, the Biden administration is pursuing an expedited removal for Safi while doing everything in its power to worsen the border crisis.

"I fought alongside soldiers like Abdul in Afghanistan who risked their lives to build a better future for their country while keeping Americans safe," Rep. Waltz told Townhall. "However, due to the Biden Administration’s hasty and disastrous withdrawal, our government left behind personal information of our allies that helped us," he reminded. 

"As a result, they are now subject to Taliban reprisals and countless unable to escape have been killed," Waltz continued. "We it owe to those who risked their lives to fight with Americans to ensure their safety and it’s despicable this administration would rather deport Abdul than thousands of other migrants illegally crossing our southern border," he emphasized.

Waltz is, of course, correct. The hypocrisy of the Biden administration — one that sued Arizona for securing its own border when it wouldn't build barriers and is seeking to end Title 42 while claiming the border is not "open" — is staggering in this case and only makes its treatment of Safi all the more egregious.

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"The Biden Administration’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan led to many American friends and allies —like Abdul — being left behind, and scrambling to avoid being targeted by the Taliban," Rep. Crenshaw reminded in a statement to Townhall. "America should always stand as a beacon of hope and freedom, and welcome those who risked their lives to fight with the American military."

"Every day we watch illegal immigrants cross our border and make frivolous asylum claims before they are given a plane ticket to wherever they want in the US," Crenshaw continued. "And a man who fought alongside us can’t even get help? My office has been in touch with Abdul’s family to offer assistance in his case in any way we can, but frankly this administration needs to step up to remedy this," he urged. "This letter calls for exactly that."

Waltz and Crenshaw cite a portion of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that "allows a person to pursue asylum if that person shows a credible fear of persecution." The Taliban's "noted brutality against former Afghan security forces personnel, especially those that worked and fought alongside American special operations forces," Waltz and Crenshaw argue, means "Mr. Safi is in inherent danger should he return to Afghanistan." Instead, the GOP lawmakers explain, they "firmly believe that Mr. Safi will more likely than not be granted asylum once his case is adjudicated."

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With those facts, including Safi's "gallant service with American forces," Waltz and Crenshaw ask Biden to "consider paroling Mr. Safi into the United States while he awaits a hearing on just justifiable asylum claim."

It is both unbelievable and perfectly on-brand for the Biden administration to simultaneously be fighting tooth-and-nail to worsen the border crisis while also trying to throw the proverbial book at an ally who fled a likely horrific death to seek reunification with his brother in the United States. 

Safi's trek, of course, would not have been as necessary had the Biden administration not botched the withdrawal from Afghanistan and handed a hit list to the Taliban. But Biden, who never took accountability for the deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, continues to look the other way while traffickers, convicted sex offenders, and individuals on terror watch lists stream into the country. Instead, his administration is trying its best to punish Safi who risked his life alongside U.S. service members.

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