Afghanistan refugee says Taliban is demanding her return from Houston

HOUSTON – An Afghan refugee who’s been living in Houston for the past two years says the Taliban sent a letter to her family, who is hiding in Afghanistan, stating that they need to come forward and demanded her return.

She is now desperately trying to get them out and somewhere safe.

“I don’t know what they want to do with us,” the woman who does not want to be identified told KPRC 2. “We never thought we could have this situation just because we helped.”

The woman said her immediate family was forced to flee Afghanistan in 2019. Her husband spent eight years there working with the United States military. They are now living in Houston.

Her extended family, including her brother, is still in Afghanistan. She said many of them also worked with the U.S. military.

“We cannot sleep through the night all the time, just thinking what will happen now in Afghanistan, what will happen for our family,” she said.

Taliban soldiers dropped a letter off at her family’s home in Afghanistan. She said the letter stated that her family must go to the office of the Taliban. She said the letter also stated that family members who had fled to the US must return.

“We will catch them, too, you and your members that are in the United States,” she said as she translated the letter.

The woman met with KPRC 2 at a church in southwest Houston in a community home to thousands of immigrants and refugees.

“It breaks my heart,” said Anne Whitlock, the founding director of Connect Community, an organization focused on the needs of the local immigrant and refugee community. “These are people who have contributed to our ability to operate in Afghanistan. It seems only right that we now, in turn, help them to get out of danger and back to the United States and become productive members of our community and city.”

According to Whitlock, about 40 Afghan refugees who had been living in Houston are stuck in Afghanistan.

They had gone back to visit relatives before the Aug. 31 deadline, fearing that they would never be able to see their family members again.

“They were all on commercial flights back to Houston, but once all of this started happening, a lot of the commercial flights canceled and they were left stuck,” Whitlock said.

Some are children, others are parents whose children are without them in Houston.

“We want the U.S. government, they are out there saying we will get every American and green card holder who wants to come home, home. We want them to make good on that promise,” Whitlock told KPRC 2.

Whitlock and the woman said they don’t know what else they can do so they are begging for help.

“We need help. We need your help right now. We need your help,” she pleaded.