Manatt Obtains Asylum for Afghan National Army Veteran

A Manatt pro bono team successfully secured asylum for a former sergeant of the Afghan National Army who was evacuated from the country after the Taliban took over in 2021.  

Referred to as HA, the client tasked with providing logistical and military support to the U.S. military in various regions of Afghanistan. He also was involved with the defense of Kabul International Airport in August 2021 when it was overrun by Taliban fighters. Unable to return to his home country due to his involvement with the Afghan military, HA was evacuated and brought to the United States along with other members of the military.   

HA joined the military out of high school, a decision that stemmed from a desire to help defend his country and his family from the destructive rule of the Taliban. He served with distinction and rose to the rank of sergeant after participating in operations located in some of the most dangerous parts of the country. Given his senior role in the Afghan military as well as his work supporting the United States’ mission in Afghanistan, HA is fearful of being tortured and killed should he return. Moreover, HA continues to fear for his wife, siblings and parents–all of whom remain in Afghanistan and have endured threats and even torture because of his military service.   

During his asylum interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), HA described his experiences in the Afghan National Army, the Taliban’s horrific actions against members of the Afghan military who remain in the country, and the many threats and assaults against his family. Manatt assisted HA throughout every step of the asylum process, including drafting his declaration, preparing his asylum application, collecting supporting documentation and representing him at his asylum interview.  

Following his interview with USCIS, HA was granted asylum. He is looking forward to building a new life in the United States and hopes to be reunited with his wife soon.    

The case was referred to Manatt by pro bono partner HIAS. The Manatt team representing HA included Pro Bono Attorney Alexandra McCown.



pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

© 2024 Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

All rights reserved