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Iowa Falls Man Who Interpreted For U.S. Troops Faces Deportation And Threat Of Death

Zalmay Niazy with Grassley.jfif
Sara Konrad Baranowski
/
Iowa Falls Times-Citizen: timescitizen.com
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley in Iowa Falls in 2017 spoke to an audience after hearing Zalmay Niazy's story of being an Afghan interpreter for the U.S. military and fleeing to America to escape the Taliban.

With deportation on the table, Iowa Falls community members are rallying around an immigrant from Afghanistan who faced dangers while interpreting for U.S. soldiers abroad.

After filing years ago, Zalmay Niazy's application for political asylum was denied. Pending his appeal through the courts, he faces deportation.

"If I am sent back to Afghanistan," Niazy said, "that would be death."

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks to Niazy about the risks he took working for the United States during its occupation of Afghanistan and the new home Niazy built in Iowa.

Captain Robert Song of Tarrytown, New York, who met Niazy during his 2007 deployment, discusses the danger Niazy faces were he to return to Afghanistan.

To finish the show, Mike Ingebritson of Iowa Falls tells us what his hometown would lose were they to lose "Zee."

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River