February 9, 2017

A PEOPLE BETTER THAN THEIR LEADER:

Soldier welcomes Afghan translator to US with bear hug (JULIE WATSON AND MARCIO SANCHEZ, 2/08/17, Associated Press)

Army Capt. Matthew Ball yelled "Qismat!" as he ran and then hugged Qismat Amin at San Francisco International Airport in a series of emotional embraces that marked the end of a yearslong battle to get the translator out of his war-torn country.

"I'm so happy," Ball told The Associated Press after welcoming Amin. "Yeah it feels great. I'm happy to see him. I'm sort of overwhelmed. He's here. It's been a long time."

The interpreter waited nearly four years for his special immigrant visa. He lived in hiding after receiving death threats from the Taliban for helping American troops.

His visa arrived two days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending the nation's refugee program and temporarily halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Afghanistan was not among them, but U.S. officials said shortly after the order was signed that the list could be expanded to include other countries. The ban has since been placed on hold while it's being debated in the courts.

Ball bought Amin a $1,000 plane ticket to San Francisco to get him to the U.S. as soon as possible.

Posted by at February 9, 2017 8:11 AM

  

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