Afghan family detained in L.A. on their way to Kennewick - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Afghan family detained in L.A. on their way to Kennewick

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LOS ANGELES, CA - An Afghan family coming to Kennewick has been released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody this afternoon, after being detained since Thursday.

Reporter Rex Carlin learned that they are trying to get to Kennewick where a family friend lives, and after days in custody for no clear reason according to their lawyers, the man who spent years working with the U.S. Military in the Middle East, his wife, and their three children are now paroled into America.

A lawyer representing the family says people like the man involved in this case cooperate with the U.S. under the condition they are provided protection when they complete their services, which is why special Visas like the ones they are using exist.

"The safety concerns are real, and they're simply that there is a continuing threat against those individuals that help the U.S. Military," said Robert Blume, the family's lawyer. "As you all know better than anyone, we have enemies abroad, and when they target the U.S. Military and the U.S. Government, they target those, even their neighbors, that help the U.S. Military and the U.S. Government."

The family was detained Thursday after they arrived in Los Angeles for a connecting flight to Seattle.

Blume says the father was shot and assaulted during his ten plus years working in various capacities for the U.S. Military in Afghanistan. 

Lawyers say the family went through more than a yearlong process to obtain special immigrant Visas, which are given to foreigners who work for the U.S. Military in their countries.

The family isn't in the clear just yet; they've been paroled, but now they have an April 5th hearing in Seattle to determine if they can actually use the Visas they were approved for to stay in the U.S. long-term.

Our sister station KNBC in L.A. are reporting that the lawyers for the family say they still don't know why the family was detained in the first place.

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