The three Afghan National Army (ANA) officers were handed over to U.S. immigration after they were caught from Canadian border. (Photo by Boston Globe).
The Afghan army officers, identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Cpt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada, and Cpt. Noorullah Aminyar were caught two days after they vanished from a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base in Massachusetts State.
US Customs and Border Protection CBP spokeswoman Shelbe Benson-Fullers quoted by Boston Globe said the men are being held by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Office.
continued political turmoil is said to be the main motive encouraging the Afghan army officers to remain in the West.
Former interior minister, Ali Ahmad Jalali told the Boston Globe “People are concerned about the uncertainty in the country and the future, particularly young people. Many just want a better life. I sense this might be the reason for [the soldiers] to leave the country.”
“The violence influences many people. It is not just people who are leaving but people who are taking their money out of the country,” said Jalali.
In the meantime, a Boston immigration lawyer and retired immigration judge, William Joyce has said that the men could legally live in United States until their case was heard, a process that could take months or even years.
He said the men would need to demonstrate a “well-founded fear of persecution” to be granted asylum.
According to Joyce, years of war and ongoing political instability would give the men “a fighting chance” to receive political asylum, he said. “I think they are good candidates,” he said. “It’s a Third World country with a lot of discord.”
Joyce also added that “They are entitled to pursue a claim like anyone else.”