Thousands of Afghans are making the dangerous and long journey to the United States to escape the Taliban. After the American withdrawal, many Afghans feared persecution, and their already struggling economy pushed millions towards starvation. Many Afghans fled to Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, but thousands set their sights farther, to Europe and the US. More than 3,600 Afghans have travelled the same route as Taiba since the beginning of 2022. They pack up their children, parents, or entire families, sell their apartments, and borrow enormous sums to pay for the passage. For months or longer, they wind through a dozen countries, nearly all are robbed or extorted; some are kidnapped or jailed. The journey for Taiba and her family took over 16,000 miles and led them to the American border. Once there, she crawled into a drainage tunnel under a highway and emerged to see two enormous steel fences, the last barriers between her old life and what she hoped would be a new one. A smuggler helped her over the first wall. The fallout from the faraway war is now landing at the President’s doorstep, with Afghan men, women, and children climbing over border walls to join a nation they feel left them behind.
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