The Stream

One year on, why are Afghans struggling in the United States?

On Thursday, September 1 at 19:30 GMT:
It’s been a chaotic year for the more than 76,000 Afghans who fled to the United States after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Many face myriad challenges to resettlement, including finding affordable housing, navigating a new culture and worrying about family members who were left behind.

Because the US government only gives benefits to Afghan migrants for a short amount of time, many have found it stressful and difficult to pay for rent, groceries, healthcare and other items by themselves within months of arriving in the country.

Complicating matters is the backlogged US immigration system. Thousands of Afghans who are new to the country are on humanitarian parole status, which gives them the right to be in the US for only two years. Proposed legislation would help them establish a pathway to permanent legal status more quickly, but has yet to be passed.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Zuhal Bahaduri, who assists families through the community organisation 5ive Pillars, said, “It’s one crisis after another for these families. Leaving Afghanistan was only half the battle.”

Despite the struggle, many Afghans say relocating to the US has opened new doors.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll talk to Afghans about how it’s been for them over the past year and the uncertainty they continue to face.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:

Arash Azizzada, @87films
Co-founder, Afghans for a Better Tomorrow

Negina Khalil, @NeginaKhalili
Professor, Loyola University New Orleans
Former Prosecutor, Ghor Province

Helal Massomi, @MassomiHelal
Kabul Evacuee
MSc Policy Research Student