June 10, 2023
April 7, 2024

Pierce Skrabanek Helps U.S. Ally Abdul Wasi Safi Seek Asylum With Pro Bono Representation

Our goal at Pierce Skrabanek is to help ensure U.S. ally Abdul Wasi Safi is granted asylum and awarded a robust settlement for his mistreatment while detained at the Texas border. This would allow him to live and work legally within the U.S., afford medical treatment, and travel freely with the dignity he deserves as an American hero.

When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021, it was a frantic affair. Many recall seeing vulnerable Afghan citizens crowding into planes to flee the country before the Taliban took back control. The assumption was the Taliban would retaliate harshly against anyone who had helped the U.S. during its military operations in the region.

One of those allied U.S. helpers was Abdul Wasi Safi, who worked as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan and shared valuable, life-saving information with American soldiers. He has made a grueling trip across 10 countries to find his way to the Texas border, where he was gravely mistreated, and where his immigration status is still stalled. 

Wasi Safi suffered tremendous hardships in his immigration journey to the U.S. and at the hands of American border patrol and detention personnel. By offering legal services pro bono (meaning free of charge), Paul Skrabanek of Pierce Skrabanek in Houston helps fulfill the American military’s promise of “no man left behind.” We also seek justice and compensation for Wasi Safi’s injuries and suffering on U.S. soil.

"I took this case because these gentlemen served our country and protected American soldiers – it was the least I could do to help those that helped us," Paul Skrabanek said.

Read on to learn more about this case, the importance of pro bono work done by established attorneys, and the legal services our firm provides for the most vulnerable and deserving in our community. Contact Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 with relevant information, or if you too are in need of compassionate legal representation.

Who Is Abdul Wasi Safi, and How Did He Help U.S. Troops?

Here are the heroic details regarding how Abdul Wasi Safi helped save the lives of American troops in Afghanistan:

  • Wasi Safi served as a translator for U.S. generals and special forces, including the Army Rangers.
  • At extreme personal risk, he gathered intelligence from the Taliban and passed it along to American forces.
  • This intel helped prevent ambushes and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from killing U.S. troops. 

Since the U.S. left Afghanistan in 2021, more than 100,000 interpreters and their families were left behind, stuck under a hostile regime, held up by paperwork. These delays allow for terroristic threats and actions from the Taliban to harm our essential allies.

Individuals have been beaten, sexually assaulted, and murdered by the Taliban in retaliation for helping American troops, including innocent family members like siblings, spouses, and children. We cannot let those who helped U.S. soldiers survive fall through the cracks of a stagnant immigration system.

Pro bono cases like the one Pierce Skrabanek has taken on for Abdul Wasi Safi help ensure access to justice for individuals who may otherwise be unable to afford legal help. Contact Pierce Skrabanek in Texas at (832) 690-7000 if you have relevant info on Wasi Safi’s case, or if you are also in need of experienced legal representation.

What Happened to Abdul Wasi Safi on His Immigration Journey?

Left behind like so many others in Afghanistan, 27-year-old Abdul Wasi Safi has faced a harrowing journey to our shores.

  • Wasi Safi has crossed three continents and 10 countries to reach American soil, flying from Pakistan to Brazil, and walking through South and Central America to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. 
  • He was severely beaten and tortured by guards near the Panamanian border, who broke his teeth with rifles and batons, stabbed him in the ear, and poured insect-repellant powder on his open wounds.
  • Wasi Safi carries scars on his legs, has sustained permanent hearing loss, and is receiving badly-needed dental treatment for violent damage done to his teeth and jaw.
  • These injuries have caused agonizing physical pain, but his pleas for help were ignored by officials at the detention center multiple times. Documents reviewed by The Texas Tribune show that CoreCivic medical providers recorded his pain level at zero, in apparent contradiction to the verifiable facts of his significant injuries.
  • Wasi Safi is also dealing with mental health trauma from being treated like a criminal at the U.S. border, where guards and staff repeatedly referred to him as a terrorist, which singled him out for extra mistreatment from fellow detainees. This is in addition to the worry he has for his family in Afghanistan, where his loved ones are still in danger from the Taliban due to his actions to help a country that has treated him so poorly.

Wasi Safi currently spends his days undergoing medical treatments and rebuilding his strength as attorney Paul Skrabanek and the team at Pierce Skrabanek work to settle his immigration status in a way that restores his dignity and personhood. These efforts are made to help thank Abdul Wasi Safi for his bravery and service to the U.S. during a war.

Contact Compassionate Attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek

Abdul Wasi Safi has good people in his corner today, thanks to the tireless work of his brother Sami-ullah Safi, a former U.S. contractor who also helped with translation services during the Afghanistan war. In addition to the pro bono work from Pierce Skrabanek, other members of the local community have stepped up to help. They include Bryan Ritchey, a dental surgeon, and Houston U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who ensured Wasi Safi’s federal charges related to his border crossing were dismissed “in the interest of justice.”

Multiple extraction organizations were contacted by Wasi Safi’s family for help, but none of them were able to deliver assistance without some cost. Pierce Skrabanek has volunteered to help Wasi Safi for free in the hopes of furthering justice and securing asylum for such a heroic ally.

If you have information regarding this case, or need to discuss your own legal matters with a compassionate law firm dedicated to community service, contact our Houston offices at (832) 690-7000. We leave you with a message from Abdul Wasi Safi himself: “I am human also. I am special force but firstly I am human. I have a heart like you, eyes, two hands, two legs. I am also human. I feel. I understand.”

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