Afghan refugees in Iowa face many challenges

Refugees who arrived in Iowa more than a year ago from Afghanistan say they still face many struggles in their new lives.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 8:11 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Refugees who arrived in Iowa more than a year ago from Afghanistan say they still face many struggles in their new lives.

Many fled from the country as the Taliban took over once the U.S. withdrew.

A few of the issues they are dealing with include language barriers and not having enough resources.

Shiragha Safi arrived in Iowa last year all alone. He told KCCI it’s been a challenge to get his footing. He hasn’t been able to find a job or get his immigration status.

He said things are moving a lot slower for families who don’t have a member who speaks English.

“It is very sad to say but it is real,” Safi said. “I don’t know my immigration process, where is it going? I came here with the humanitarian parole, which is just two years for me. But I don’t know what’s next is happening because there is no legal aid or help for me and the same thing for the Afghans.”

Volunteer organizations like Des Moines Refugee Support said it has been working to fill in the gaps to get refugees acclimated.

That means connecting them to medical care, legal aid, and ensuring each family has enough food.