Hundreds of Afghan children in US separated from families: Report
Thousands of Afghans who helped US soldiers during the occupation are still trapped under the Taliban's rule a year after the Kabul airport attack
By News Desk - September 11 2022

(Photo Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Hundreds of Afghan children have been separated from their parents and are alone in the United States. Their families remain in Afghanistan and have little hope of being able to reunite with the children. 

According to a statement released on 10 September by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) obtained by NBC News, more than 230 Afghan children are alone and wandering the streets of the United States.

The children are family members of Afghan citizens who helped foreign soldiers during the US-led occupation of the country and fear reprisals after the unexpected Taliban takeover of Kabul in August 2021.

Following the withdrawal of the last US serviceman from Afghanistan, many families decided to disperse as much as possible in order to escape the Taliban’s rule.

As a result of this decision, more than 1,500 children fled to the United States without their guardians. 

The ORR objective was to reunite Afghan children with their parents or relatives in the US. However, evacuating anyone from Afghanistan became difficult, as “there was little hope of being reunited any time soon,” an ORR spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the ORR placed more than 1,400 of them with family members or other adults.

NBC said the ORR had 104 Afghan children left in its care, while another 130 Afghan children had been in the custody of state governments or NGOs since 30 August.

“These children have experienced far more trauma than any child has ever experienced,” said Krish Omara Vignarajah, CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is a non-profit organization that welcomes and supports refugees and migrants entering the United States.

Taliban allows one flight with evacuees to leave Kabul each week, and some countries where Afghans wait while applying to the US have stopped accepting refugees.

 “We recognize that it is currently tough for Afghans to obtain a visa to a third country or find a way to enter a third country, and like many refugees, may face significant challenges fleeing to safety,” a US State Department spokesperson said.

 “We are continuing to review the situation on the ground and consider all available options, and our planning will continue to evolve.”

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