The situation with our family is very fluid. We are still waiting for approval from US Customs and Immigration (USCIS) offices which are part of the Department of Homeland Security. Everyone is confident the family will be approved given their vulnerable circumstances, service to the US, and the advocacy of our embassy on their behalf. However, we do not know when that will be. Other Afghan diplomat families are receiving notifications from USCIS requesting permission to release information to legislators which means the process is moving forward. We are seeking to be proactive and have already sent the signed forms to USCIS. When this approval moves forward, the family will have 30 days to arrive in the US.
Recently Pastor Ken has been speaking and emailing the family and embassy officials several times per week. We expect that we'll hear right away when they are given the green light and know when they intend to depart for Arizona.
The other unknown is how long the family will stay under our sponsorship and how long they must stay with us as they hope to move close to another family member already settled in California. We are seeking guidance from an immigration attorney.
Everybody has responded with great compassion and generosity. Perhaps the fluidity of the circumstances is causing you some frustration. As we wait with both patience and urgency, there are things you can do. We are gathering household items (refer to this updated list from Sharon Haynes). We are seeking financial support to meet our sponsorship commitment. Our commitment is for $26,400, of which we have raised $17,000. If you feel called to give, we are grateful. If you write a check, please use 'refugee resettlement' on your check memo line. If you have already corresponded with Welcome Team lead Sharon Haynes or with the church staff, we are grateful and will be in touch.
Thank you everyone for helping implement this great Wedgeblade opportunity. We remain in a prayerful posture as we wait together for movement.