PHOENIX - It has been seven months since an Afghan soldier who was forced to either flee his country or be killed by the Taliban cross the U.S. - Mexico Border, and that man is still waiting to be reunited with his sister in Tempe.
"I need them to help me to let me out of here, and go to Arizona to stay with my family and to fight for my asylum from outside," said Ahmad Majeed, in a call from an ICE detention facility in Texas.
We last reported on Majeed in March. Majeed, a former intelligence officer with the Kabul Military Air Brigade, helped and worked alongside American soldiers prior to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
For Majeed, the situation became so dire that his last resort was to head to South America, where he made the dangerous journey to illegally cross through the border.
Majeed arrived in Texas in September 2022. Court documents we obtained confirm that Majeed was apprehended by Border Patrol in near Eagle Pass, Texas. He and his friend surrendered themselves.
Majeed has been held in the Eden Detention Center ever since. After months of detention, Majeed's friend was set free with all charges dropped, but Majeed himself remains in custody.
Soldier's sister speaks out
As Majeed remains at an ICE detention facility, his sister is growing more and more concerned, and is trying everything they can to speed up the process, and let him free.
They have received no answers as to why its taking so long.
"It’s really stressful for me. When I wake up in the morning, I just take my phone and just check out the emails, and I just call contacts with my friend Nathaly, and contact the attorney," said Majeed's sister, Daryaa Majeed.
Majeed said he will never lose hope that one day, he will be reunited with Daryaa, who is a refugee herself.
Daryaa left Afghanistan on an evacuation flight, and after she got to a military base in Wisconsin, she, along with 61 other Afghan women, was sponsored by Arizona State University. She hopes her brother can join her, especially since Majeed helped American soldiers.
"He's military. He deserves the right. He deserves his life to be safe and secure. His life is so important. He saved the nation. He saved and helped the American troops, and they must support him. He really deserves this," said Daryaa.
Majeed still waiting for answers
ICE detention varies from case to case: some held for a matter of hours, while others are held for months, even years. Majeed spent six months in the U.S. Marshal's custody before recently going before a judge, and subsequently transferred to ICE custody. Majeed said he has had his asylum interviews, and is just waiting on an answer.
Majeed said others have received answers in 48 hours to three weeks after their asylum interviews. For him, it's been much longer.
"What will happen if he gets sent back to Afghanistan? We know what’s going to happen. He is going to die. He's going to be tortured, and then he’s going to die," said Nathaly Correa, a family friend.
For now, Majeed's sister and friend are working around the clock, emailing politicians, government officials, influencers, even the President to get him free. Meanwhile, Majeed's mental and physical health are also taking a toll.
"I was saving lives of civilian people. I was a military officer, so I helped them in that time. Now, I need their help. I need the American government's help, so they have to help me now to save my life in here. They have to let me go outside and stay with my family in Arizona. They have to give me a chance."
We reached out to several organizations, and officials with ICE say Majeed is still waiting for his asylum decision, and cannot say how much longer he will be detained. We also reached out to his lawyer and the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services. They have yet to respond.