NEW YORK - Latifa Woodhouse hasn’t been able to sleep in weeks. She’s been waiting by her phone hoping to hear from her younger brother who worked as a translator for the U.S. government from 2003-2006. We’re not sharing his name or photos of him for safety reasons. He’s been in hiding with his wife and six children in the basement of their home in Kandahar, Afghanistan the birthplace of the Taliban.
"It’s just not fair," she said. "His children call me saying ‘Auntie, Auntie we’ve never experienced this. We’re terrified. What can you do for us?’"
But sadly there’s little Latifa can do for them. Now that the Taliban is in control, it’s unlikely they can safely make it out on their own.
"My brother cannot come from Kandahar to Kabul because there’s checkpoints, it’s very unsafe," she said. "He can be shot in a second."
We reached out to Congressman Tom Suozzi who told us he’s working seven cases involving over fifty different people most of whom worked with the U.S. government over the past two decades. He calls this a top priority of his and vows to do everything to keep bureaucracy moving.
Latifa’s husband Colin feels just as helpless as she does, calling the situation terrifying and horrific.
"Get the folks out, get them to a safe haven and then progress according to what the state department wants," he said. "There’s no law right now, there is no safety, there is no humanity right now. And everybody has to find it in themselves to survive."
The couple founded Shared Humanity USA, a nonprofit that helps people forcibly displaced by war. Latifa dreams of raising enough money for a charter plane to help save afghan refugees.
"My heart is broken and it’s breaking every second and minute I when I think of them," she said.
And as the clock ticks - they try their best to stay optimistic.
"Let me be positive. Let me not give up hope There will be a day we’ll be reunited."