Father dubbed 'terrorist' denied US access

Family says he works for bank connected to Taliban

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Wares Dastgir (center) stands with his wife, Zee Satorzoda, and their daughter, Nelub

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Eighteen-month-old Nelub knows her father's face and voice, but not his touch.

Wares Dastgir lives in Afghanistan and his wife, Zee Satorzoda, a United States citizen, is fighting to bring him to the U.S.

"I don't think it is fair for us to live separate. It's very hard," Satorzoda said.

According to government documents, the U.S. government has denied Dastgir access into the U.S. because he's been labeled a terrorist.

"He is innocent. He hasn't done anything wrong and he's not a terrorist, and I don't know what happened," Satorzoda said.

She said her husband, whom she married in 2007, works for a bank in Afghanistan. She believes that because the Taliban has connections to the banking industry, it explains why the government sees her husband as a threat.

So she travels to him once a year.

On their last visit, Dastgir met his daughter for the first time.

"For some children, the first word is 'mama,' but her, it was 'dada,'" Satorzoda said of her daughter.

Next week, Ashwin Sharma, a local immigration attorney, is filing an exemption with the Department of Homeland Security, the Attorney General's Office and the Secretary of State to reopen the case.

"It would be ludicrous to consider him a member of the Taliban or any other terrorist group just because he works for a bank that happens to have been nationalized by the Taliban," Sharma said.

Satorzoda said her husband deserves a chance to come to the U.S. and her family deserves a chance to be whole again.

"I want the world to hear me and help me, and I want my husband," she said. "And we won't to why he can't be here and be happy with everyone else."

The exemption being filed is a last resort. About 1,000 exemptions are filed each year in the U.S. For the families involved, it could take up to a year for a decision.

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