“I am from a war country (Afghanistan) as you know the situation of the country. Continuing my life in a democratic country, seeing my baby grow up there was my dream.


I am Hedayat Sohail and I am the one of the winners of DV2020. I am a father whose wife was in US and gave birth, who has not been touched his baby yet. I am writing this mail to tell you a little bit of the gravity of the situation we are in.  

When I learned that my wife Laila won the diversity lottery 2020, I was so happy. I am from a war country (Afghanistan) as you know the situation of the country. continuing my life in a democratic country, seeing my baby grow up there was my dream. 

But, this dream got crushed by a ban put in place by Trump. Visa issuance was stopped in April last year. Subsequently, this ban was extended until the end of the year by adding new visa types in June.

Ban details:

On the 1st of January, when I was waiting for the ban to end, I bought my tickets and went to the airports. No official presidental proclamation was published, and the ban seemed to had not been extended. But when we got to the airport, I was not taken to the plane. A name list of the visa holders who got visas in September was sent to airports and I would not be allowed to board the plane. A few hours later, Trump extended the ban until 31st of March. This means that, no one who received a visa in September could enter the country until 31st of March.

According to this proclamiation, persons who received a visa before April 23 can enter the country. My wife, who was pregnant, got a visa before 23 April and had to enter before her visa expired. Our plan was that my wife would be waiting for me in the US, I was going to go to her on January 1 and I would be with her at the birth of our child. After she learnt that ban was extended, she gave birth suddenly in the United States. Because she was so upset. I could not be with her as a husband. Our child is now almost 2 months old and I haven’t even touched him yet. Could you imagine? My wife is there alone with our newly born child. And now she is in a very difficult situation both financially and morally. If this ban is not lifted or if the exemption is not applied to visa holders, my wife will return from US and we will continue our lives in our country, Afghanistan. 

This ban separates many families like us. 

We waited for the President Biden to come in and end the ban. Reporters asked about our situation. We just got the answer “actively reviewing”. This review has been going on for 3 weeks. Today, a reporter ask question about this ban to Jen Psaki. She said that, Biden thinks about this ban “immoral and ineffective”. But there is no action!

Many people have their visas expiring every week. We can not renew our visas. Many lawsuit were opened. The judges are waiting for the President Biden. So Why does Biden wait to lift this ban that blocks almost all legal immigrants? 

Think about that you have a visa. You got this as a result of a lawsuit. You have paid fees such as health report, visa fee to get this. You have sacrificed everything for your new life. But they do not allow you to use this visa. The Justice Department is literally defending this inhumane ban in the courts. ALSO WE ARE TOLD THAT WE ARE UNDER THE LABOR BAN. THAT’S NOT TRUE. WE ARE FUTURE PERMANENT RESIDENTS AND CITIZENS. This is a nightmare and they make us live it. 

I really hope that you take this under consideration and help us. I have less than a month left on my visa as well as so many other DV visa holders. I really wish to be with my family and as visa holders we don’t wanna lose our -most likely- once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Hedayat Sohail – from Afghanistan