Reckless Abandon

“Now, after more than 16,000 miles, Taiba and her family had finally reached it: the American border. In the darkness, Taiba crawled into a drainage tunnel under a highway. When she emerged, she saw two enormous steel fences, the last barriers between her old life and what she hoped would be a new one. A smuggler flung a ladder over the first wall. Taiba gripped the rungs and began to climb into the country that had helped define her. She knew the Americans were turning away asylum seekers. A single thought consumed her. Once she got in, would they let her stay?” This is no ordinary, extraordinary story about a long, dangerous trek to the American border where another long, treacherous experience awaits. It’s not ordinary because of the people making the trek. This is the story of some of the Afghans that America left behind and their efforts to make it here on their own. “Taiba’s entire life had been shaped by the American vision of a democratic Afghanistan: She had studied law, worked with the Americans to fight violence against women and ultimately became a top government official for women’s rights, gathering testimony that put abusers away. But after saving so many women’s lives, she was suddenly trying to save her own. She and her husband, Ali, pleaded for help from a half-dozen nations — many of which they’d worked with — and found an American refugee program they might be eligible for. Taiba said she sent off her information, but never heard back. ‘They left us behind,’ she said of the Americans. ‘Sometimes I think maybe God left all Afghans behind.'” NYT (Gift Article): The U.S. Left Them Behind. They Crossed a Jungle to Get Here Anyway.

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