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“What we know from people who are detained inside this facility is that it’s become increasingly violent, out of control and that people are fearing for their lives every single day,” said Sharon Brett, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas.

Activist Claudio Rojas says he was deported to his homeland, Argentina, for appearing in a film that criticized U.S. immigration authorities.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Said Noor was growing up in a mountain village in Khost, a southeastern province of Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan. He lived in an agricultural valley full of apple orchards and groves of peach trees.

The Dulles Expo Center outside Washington, D.C., is usually reserved for home and garden or gun shows. Now the cavernous center hosts thousands of Afghan refugees. It’s wall to wall with cots and now includes a medical center and cafeteria — serving halal food — for the steady stream of people.

Scenes of violence in Afghanistan triggered painful memories for Hossein Mahrammi and his wife, Razia Mahrami, refugees living in the U.S. He sees the hope of a democratic, peaceful Afghanistan vanishing as the Taliban take over the country and the future of family and friends there uncertain. The couple know all too well the hardships that await the thousands of refugees fleeing.

Lorin George has spent the last 35 years working as a flight attendant with American Airlines. Each year, she has registered for the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a program in which airlines voluntarily assist the Defense Department during a time of crisis.

Tens of thousands of Afghans who helped American forces over the two-decades-long war are now arriving in the U.S. as refugees, following what, for many, has been a harrowing escape from the Taliban-controlled country as it erupts into more violence.

One high-ranking ICE officer described her as an “instigator” in an internal email. Another responded that Mora-Villalpando was a “well-known local illegal alien,” and suggested that trying to deport her might “take away some of her ‘clout.'”

It’s a conundrum that around 200,000 dependent visa holders across the U.S currently face — “aging out” of a valid status because of a long or nonexistent path to permanent residency.

Fida started working with U.S. Special Forces in 2006. In the following decade, the Afghan interpreter worked for USAID, U.S. Marines and finally the U.S. State Department.