The U.S. Must Keep its Promises to Our Afghan Allies

CLCMA is devastated by the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan and stands in solidarity with Afghans fleeing persecution by the Taliban and with the American Muslim community. Over the past week, as the Taliban seized control of Kabul, we along with our fellow citizens watched thousands of Afghan citizens who had supported the United States rushing to evacuate in order to save their families and preserve their freedom. We urge the U.S. government to rapidly evacuate and support Afghan citizens and allies who worked alongside us in the region, including translators, soldiers, drivers, security and other support personnel. U.S. leaders must learn from previous administrations’ mistakes and keep our promises to those seeking refuge here.

CLCMA empathizes not only with those suffering in the present crisis in Afghanistan but with all of our clients from around the world who have fled violence and oppression. Our organization is committed to pursuing justice for Muslims through the U.S. legal system. In our pursuit of justice, we are painfully aware that the present crisis is not just the product of the failure to plan but part of a history of failing to fulfill past promises. Less than two weeks ago, CLCMA filed a Petition asking the Supreme Court to hear our case about one Afghan ally who with the support of the United States opposed the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. Despite his loyalty and sacrifice, the Department of Homeland Security asserted that the U.S.-trained group with which he previously fought now constitutes a terrorist organization.

Excerpt from Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, Khalil v. Jaddou:

“By September 11, 2021, the United States will have completed its withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. Simultaneously, the government is evacuating thousands of Afghan visa applicants whose lives are at risk because of the work they did for American forces fighting the Taliban.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel expressed its concern that the government’s position in this case sends the message to U.S.-allied fighters that ‘the United States will betray you. It will treat you as a terrorist.’”

As we stated in the Petition, Mr. Khalil’s case “implicates an important and recurring foreign policy question affecting those applicants and many others: After serving alongside the United States in conflicts around the world, can our war-time allies trust that we will not turn our backs on them when they seek refuge?” We sincerely hope the answer to this critical question is that this time around the U.S. can be trusted to keep its promises to our war-time allies from Afghanistan.

CLCMA remains steadfast in our support of the Afghan and American Muslim community.