In 2016, the United Nations granted Shakila Zareen refugee status, and the US government conditionally approved her application for asylum. A few years before, in Afghanistan, Zareen’s life was shattered when he husband tried to kill her, shooting her in the face with a shotgun. The Indian government, however, intervened, and flew her to Delhi for nine reconstructive surgeries over three years before recommending her for resettlement.
As they came through the door, Zareen turned to see her husband aim a hunting gun at her and pull the trigger,” writes Rasmussen.
But this June, reports Sune Engel Rasmussen, US Citizen and Immigration Services notified Zareen she was no longer eligible for resettlement, stating it was “a matter of discretion for security-related reasons.”
“When the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001, it claimed the advancement of women’s rights as a central pillar of its mission,” Rasmussen remembers.
Under the Trump administration’s new immigration policies, which cut the number of refugees allowed by half, even more Afghan women like Zareen will be blocked from entering the US — namely those refugees who lack “bona fide” relationships to the US.