This piece was written by Ithaca Welcomes Refugees as a letter to the editor to the Ithaca Voice. For other submissions to the Ithaca Voice, please email

ITHACA, N.Y.—A local Afghan family is seeking to bring their relatives to safety in the U.S. as the Taliban takes control of the country. The family experienced firsthand the trauma of evacuating from Kabul, when the Taliban’s unexpectedly swift takeover turned a visit to see family—for perhaps the last time—into a frantic race to get home, with children in tow. They are now back home, safe but shaken and concerned for their relatives still in danger under the Taliban.

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees is raising money (GiveGab located here) to cover the application fees for entry into the U.S. for 21 extended family members, under humanitarian parole. Humanitarian parole allows the temporary entry of individuals into the U.S for urgent humanitarian reasons. The family’s relatives are Afghans who worked with the U.S. military, along with their spouses and children.
All are in danger because of their service to the U.S. and we have a chance to bring them to safety.

It costs $575 to submit each of the 21 applications, making the goal of the campaign $12,075 in total. Ithaca Welcomes Refugees is asking for community support to make this possible.

Launched on September 3rd, the campaign will run until the goal is met, but the situation is urgent and the sooner the applications are filed, the closer this family will be to being reunited.