Afghan refugees are frustrated by resettlement here in the U.S.

Kansas City StarMarch 7, 2009 

Mohammad Naseer Yasini sat alone in a North Kansas City apartment and recalled life under the Taliban. At that time, he never imagined he would one day work for American soldiers.

He was young, still a boy then, but his memories remain clear. It was a stressful time in Afghanistan, he said. Few people had jobs or other opportunities. He smiled a little ruefully.

“Something like my life here,” said Yasini, 29. “When I have a job, I’ll say then I am happy.”

Yasini arrived in Kansas City last month and is one of the hundreds of Iraqis and Afghans who move to the United States on a special immigrant visa after serving alongside American troops in their home countries. The visa was created specifically for those whose lives have been threatened because of their work for U.S. forces.

But many of these refugees do not feel special. They arrive here reliant on nonprofit social service agencies and become ensnared in the red tape of securing federal resettlement assistance for housing, employment and health care. They often find they cannot resume the professional careers they once held or had planned in their native countries.

Copyright 2015 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service