Human trafficking concerns are growing after some male Afghan evacuees were suspected of bringing underage brides into the Land of the Free.
A Wisconsin army base reported a rising number of older men accompanying minor females who turned out to be their wives. Some Afghan girls complained the older men they were arranged to marry, allegedly raped them while transiting in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
A number of the minors reportedly became wed to escape their now Taliban-controlled home country.
“Intake staff at Fort McCoy reported multiple cases of minor females who presented as ‘married’ to adult Afghan men, as well as polygamous families,” military documents obtained by the Associated Press said. “The Department of State has requested urgent guidance.”
BL understands it is unclear why suspected human trafficking and sexual abuse victims were not immediately disclosed to the public. Even the age of the alleged underage brides remains a mystery.
A senior State Department official revealed authorities are treating the allegations with full seriousness.
Human trafficking is both a federal and state offense in the United States. It is unclear how authorities would respond to cases involving Afghan asylum seekers, especially if they can be substantiated.
For now, evacuees and their families are relieved to arrive in the safety of America.
“Since the day the Taliban entered Kabul, I have had no sleep,” Hossein Mahrammi said according to the National Public Radio. “I am worried about the thousands and thousands of those who worked hard in the last 20 years for a better future but, in return, they get the darkest–the most unexpected and unwanted situation.”
Mahrammi remains in close contact with his many other relatives still stranded in Afghanistan.
“It is 10:30 a.m., and I have had five phone calls already with my brothers and my father,” he said according to the broadcaster.
While U.S. officials only vaguely estimate hundreds of eligible refugees left behind by the U.S. Those that supposed to be evacuated to European countries were expected to be in the thousands.
“For us the focus at the moment is local staff and that is not 300 people,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said according to the New York Post. “That is probably more like 10,000 to 40,000 people, and we will have to see how many of them want to leave the country and how many not.”