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Fugitive Taliban Soldier: Federal Reserve has dropped charges of Abdulwasee Safi of entering the US illegally

A former Afghan soldier, who crossed several continents trying to escape Taliban retribution and reconnect with his brother in Houston, has put a possible criminal record behind him after charges of entering the United States illegally were dropped on Tuesday.

The above video is from a previous report.

An Assistant US Attorney asked a judge this week to dismiss — “in the interests of justice” — the case against Abdelwasi Safi, or Alwasi, who was arrested at the US-Mexico border last year. The judge agreed, according to court records.

Al Wasi faced up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if he pleaded guilty. But Al Wasi did not want to get a criminal record and start his life over in the United States – especially after his service in relation to the country.

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Al Wasi, a former Afghan Special Forces officer, crossed the US-Mexico border near Eagle Pass on Sept. 30. The Border Police arrested Wasi and charged him with a crime. criminal misdemeanour Failing to provide the documents necessary to remain in the United States, he spent nearly four months in a detention center guarded by the US Marshal at the Aden Detention Center.

The charges were dropped after months of publicity and a bipartisan effort in Congress to get him released. Wasi’s case was first reported by The Texas Tribune.

Al-Wasi remains in border guard custody, but is now free to resume his journey toward asylum, according to his lawyer. His legal team hopes to release him and reunite him with his brother in Houston, according to his attorney.

Wasi’s brother, Samiullah Safi, said of the dismissal: “I promise, I am very happy, and this is a great relief for me.”

Wasi’s Texas journey began after the United States withdrew its military operations from Afghanistan in August 2021, after nearly 20 years of conflict. Like many Afghans, Alwasi tried for days to board a military plane out of Kabul. Thousands poured onto the heavily guarded tarmac. Few of making the final extraction.

SEE ALSO: Afghan man who served as US ally held for 3 months while trying to find safety

Al Wasi was a Special Forces intelligence officer in the Afghan National Security Forces. Those who worked directly with the United States and its allies became targets for revenge killings by the Taliban once they assumed power in the power vacuum left by the United States with the collapse of the Afghan government.

Fearing the worst for himself and his family, Alwasi hid when he heard reports of horrific killings of those he had served with in the Afghan Special Forces.

Al-Wassi studied journalism at university and worked in military intelligence. His work directly assisted US Special Operations missions, and he was often involved in missions to secure areas of operations against the Taliban and other local insurgents. People like Wasi have made perfect targets on the Taliban’s hit list.

For months, Wasi went into hiding with his family in Afghanistan while trying to find a safe way out of the country. His brother, Samiullah Safi, had worked directly with the US Special Forces as a contract translator and lives in Houston as a US citizen. Over the next year, Alwasi crossed countries and continents on a dangerous migration path through Latin America to be caught at the border.

With the criminal charges dropped, and a reunion with his brother expected, Wasi and his legal team can turn their attention to his asylum case in earnest, which could take years to process.

“The immigration side starts now,” said Jennifer Cervantes, Wassy’s immigration attorney.

Cervantes said Wassy’s release could be delayed as federal agencies sort out additional steps. Al-Wasi is still being held in the Border Guard. However, she said, those officials want Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take over the detention. She doesn’t think ICE will have any problems seeing Al Wasi’s sincerity.

“It’s definitely not a threat,” Cervantes said, “it’s been vetted (by the FBI).” “He’s not a risk to fly, he wants to be here, he wants to move forward legally.”

Recently, the US delegate. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat, pressed the White House to intervene in Wassey’s case, asking President Joe Biden to pardon. According to a press release from her staff, Jackson Lee is expected to host a press conference on Friday.

Other members of Congress have joined in writing their own letters to the White House, including Rep. Dan Crenshawand R-Houston, and Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla. Both are military veterans.

Clarification, January 24, 2023: An earlier version of the Texas Tribune article incorrectly described Afghanistan as part of the Middle East. Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs – and engages – Texans on public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.