'We have safety': Afghans makes a fresh start in Texas

There's almost no furniture in Abdul Aman Sediqi's new home.

But as the Afghan evacuee plays with his young sons, he says he's grateful at the chance to make a fresh start in Houston, Texas.

"We feel happy being in America, we feel we have full safety here. We have a secure future ahead of us, a happy one. We know that the goals we set for ourselves in Texas, in America we can reach them."

Thousands of Afghans have arrived in the United States since the hurried evacuation of Afghanistan began in mid-August.

Sediqi, who worked in mine clearance with the U.S. Special Forces, is the recipient of a Special Immigrant Visa, or SIV.

SIVs are available to Afghans who aided U.S. force and who fear reprisals by the Taliban - the militant group that swiftly seized power earlier this month.

Sediqi, his wife and two sons had stamped, valid visas when the Taliban unexpectedly took over Kabul.

"We became hopeless about what we should do. We went to the airport and it was shut, they weren't allowing anybody to enter. We turned back."

The family were able to get another flight a few days later.

As relieved as they are to have found safety, Sediqi says leaving Afghanistan was also hard.

"People will likely understand how difficult it is for someone to suddenly leave behind a life that you have worked hard to build over 25 or 30 years, to start a new life. Granted your new life will be a good life, will mean you have a good future, but it is very troubling and saddening to leave behind a life that you built for yourself over 20 years."

An estimated 5,000 SIV applicants have been evacuated from Afghanistan, according to a report released on Wednesday (August 25) by the Association of Wartime Allies - a group advocating for SIV applicants.

However, it estimates that 65,000 SIV applicants and family members remain in the country.

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