SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A new chapter for a person that's been years in the making is about to begin.
Afghan interpreter Zabi is now in Tucson, Arizona. But his journey to America would not have been possible if it were not for Scottsdale immigration lawyer Darius Amiri with the Rose Law Group.
“Zabi was at a big risk and in fear of his life. We were able to coordinate Zabi being extracted out of the crowds at the airport into U.S. custody inside the airport," Amiri explained.
The two men were connected years ago through one of Amiri's high school friends serving in the Marines and with Zabi.
Zabi says he began the process of requesting a special immigration visa for interpreters years ago, but after U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan, his work against the Taliban would also mean his death sentence.
“I was an interpreter in the area. People knew about me. That’s why I was tortured by the Taliban,” Zabi said.
The two men share a common bond and a similar journey to the land of the free. Darius's father was a refugee from Iran.
"He left in 79 when there was a revolution," Amiri explained. "So, I see parallels there and it makes me feel honored to be in a position where I can help somebody else.”
It took several attempts to secure Zabi from the Kabul Airport.
"We were able to coordinate Zabi being extracted out of the crowds at the airport into US custody inside the airport,” Amiri said.
A special immigration visa takes time
Connie Phillips is the President and CEO of the Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. Since 1975, the organization has helped refugees resettle on American soil and provides them with housing, work and other services.
“It’s hard to come to the United States; to give up your country, your culture, your language,” Phillips said.
The organization expects to assist around 75 more refugees resettling in the greater Phoenix areas in the coming weeks.
“People that were engaged with the United States they did so in good faith believing we would provide them with protection," Phillips said. "As refugees become American citizens, they become just like the rest of us.”
Zabi says living in Arizona is a dream come true for his fiancé and himself.
The Rose Law Group is currently working with other refugees.
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