Afghan refugee who helped U.S. military overseas reunited with sister after months in Texas detention center

An Afghan soldier who helped the U.S. military overseas was forced to flee Afghanistan or be killed by the Taliban.

The situation became so dire that his last resort was to head to South America and make the dangerous journey to illegally cross through the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ahmad Majeed arrived in Texas in September 2022, and has been held in the Eden Detention Center for months.

We have since learned that Majeed has been released from the detention center, and has been reunited with his sister, Daryaa.

"She’s hugging me a lot," said Majeed. "She's my small sister, so I love her a lot."

"I’m so happy," said Daryaa. "I’m so happy I cannot express how much I am happy. Like, I have no stress."

Majeed fled Afghanistan out of fear for Taliban

Ahmad Fahim Majeed

Majeed is an intelligence officer for the Afghan National Army Military Air Brigade. He fled, fearing the Taliban would kill him because he had provided information to the U.S. military while also protecting, defending and working alongside American soldiers.

For more than a year, he said he hid underground and in the mountains applying for emergency visas to several countries, including the U.S.

"I didn’t do any crime. I just saved my life to come here," Majeed previously said. "I did a lot of emails. The only country that replied, it was Brazil, so I don’t have any other option, so that is why I went to Brazil …"

From Brazil, he said he traveled up through South America to Texas, where he illegally crossed and surrendered himself to border patrol agents. Majeed hoped that since he worked with the U.S., they would take care of him.

Court documents confirm Majeed was apprehended by a border patrol agent on September 30, 2022, near Eagle Pass, Texas for failure to comply with reporting requirements when entering the U.S.

"So I got everything when I come first to America. When I entered from Eagle Pass I had all my original documents to prove that I am an army officer," he said.

Majeed was given a misdemeanor charge and pled guilty.

"He deserves to live in peace"

In our previous reports, we spoke with Daryaa about her brother's detention.

"I just want my brother to be free, and he deserves to live in peace and happiness. So I can also be happy and his friends and family, we all can be happy. I will be so glad if they release him as soon as possible," Daryaa said.

Daryaa also fled Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. forces in August 2021.

"Not only is he suffering, we all are. His friends, family, we all are suffering with this. And we don’t know how to come over of this situation," she said. "I am sad for my home country. It's really totally changed. It's different. I cannot imagine myself to live anymore in there or go back there because it will be, for me, it’s a prison right now."

She managed to get on an evacuation flight out of Kabul, dodging explosions and gunfire. She was taken to a military base for refugees in Wisconsin and shortly after, Arizona State University offered her and 61 other refugee women scholarships to come and start a new life in Arizona. 

Although she escaped, the only thing on her mind for months was her brother.

"It's getting worse day by day and even distracts me with my studies and my jobs and everything even though I am happy for myself. I am here free, and I am continuing my education, but I cannot focus properly. I cannot enjoy my life. I just want my brother to be here with me, with us to be together, and he should start his life peacefully," Daryaa said, prior to her brother's release.

‘I just saved my life to come here’

We previously spoke with Majeed from inside the Eden Detention Center in Texas.

At the time, Majeed said he was the only Afghan in the detention center. He said he had limited access to a shared phone, but can usually call his sister and family friend, Nathaly Correa, in Tempe once a day.

"Sometimes when he doesn’t call I get very afraid for his safety. He had mentioned receiving direct threats inside the detention center by some local gang members. He became the target. They don’t trust him. He is military," Correa said.

‘It’s taken a toll on his mental and physical health’

Correa talked about how she and loved ones deal with his situation.

"We have mixed emotions, we cry a lot, we pray a lot, we get sad, sometimes we get anger because we are not able to understand why he is going through this," she said.

She and his sister say they’ve exhausted every avenue. They’ve asked for help from politicians, influencers, non-profit agencies and humanitarian organizations. All leading to a dead end. They even hired an attorney who they say filed an asylum application.

Majeed didn't take this journey alone. He says his friend and fellow Afghan officer, Abdul Wasi Safi, traveled with him from Afghanistan.

"He crossed with another officer, same day, same time. The officer who traveled with him was from the same country, same exact background and same exact charges however this officer, thanks to God, he was released about a month and a half ago or so. He was released, and his charges were dropped," Correa said.

Safi’s attorney filed a motion asking a federal judge in Del Rio, Texas to dismiss the immigration charge for Safi. The judge granted that request, freeing him and causing all his charges to be dropped.

Safi has since been reunited with his brother in Houston – all while Majeed remained in custody.

Correa previously said the detention took a toll on Majeed's mental and physical health, which was confirmed by Majeed.

"The time I was spending in detention center, I was feeling really sad," said Majeed. "I was thinking why are they not helping me while I served with them? I was thinking this. I had this on my mind once I get released. So everything was coming in front of me. I was walking in these streets like a free man. It was my dream, my dreams come true, so I was very happy."

We reached out to ICE for information about Majeed's case, and why he was held for so long. Officials have yet to respond.