MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man and his family continue to fight to leave Kabul three months after the Taliban took over the city.
“The new government, they are just against people like me, translators and citizens,” said Qays, speaking of the Taliban.
For the past three months, Qais has been working with the US State Department to get him and his family on a plane to Qatar and from there to the US. However, they recently learned of a new requirement.
“They told me I needed to get a passport for my son, who is like a 3 month old baby, and I told them that it is not easy to get a passport in this current situation,” Qais said.
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Taliban officials working in Interior Ministry offices advise Qais to register his son as a citizen of Afghanistan and to obtain a certified identity document before obtaining a passport.
Qais was told that an urgent US passport would be issued when he received the passport and arrived in Qatar.
“If you want to give my son a US passport in Qatar, what’s the point of making an Afghan passport here?” said Kays.
His colleague and friend Sarah Lippert said the State Department had assured him that Qais was safe, but that he was not.
“Since day one, he has been trying to follow the rules given to him and continues to block after obstacle,” said Lippert.
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“He talked about the bombing between the Taliban and ISIS-K and how it just kept getting worse… there were gunfights in the streets of his neighborhood,” Lippert said.
Qais says the biggest threat to his security comes from US delays.
“I don’t think he understands why the State Department continues to not see his safety as a priority,” Lippert said.
He says Qais’ son has the status of a U.S. citizen born abroad.
Congressman Ilhan Omar’s office works with Qais and the foreign ministry. WCCO-TV reached out to its office for comment and there was no response.