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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 27, 2022 12:37am-1:06am PST

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♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, american journey. one woman's harrowing escape from the taliban. >> safety is something that we didn't have for years in afghanistan. >> our rare access inside the tent city on a u.s. military base where she found refuge. >> we're taking care of people who have taken care of us. >> her life in limbo. how will she make her way. >> it is just a new country, a new culture, a new land, a new people. >> closing in on the american dream. >> i just feel like home. plus supreme court opening. justice stephen breyer stepping down. >> i think this is a huge moment for the court. why now? >> and the history president biden could make in nominating
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his successor. >> there's never been a black female justice, so this would be a very significant development. >> who's on the short list? and "final jeopardy." what question ended amy schneider's history-making streak? up at 2:00am again? tonight, try pure zzzs all night. unlike other sleep aids, our extended release melatonin helps you sleep longer. and longer. zzzquil pure zzzs all night. fall asleep. stay asleep. when you really need to sleep you reach for the really good stuff. new zzzquil ultra helps you sleep better and longer when you need it most. it's non habit forming and powered by the makers of nyquil. new zzzquil ultra. when you really really need to sleep.
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♪ good evening.
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thank you for joining us. for generations and for many, america has been the land of promise. for the thousands of afghan refugees fleeing the taliban, it's also meant safety. one brave woman takes us along on her journey building a new life in her new home. here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> oh, it's my favorite, pasta! >> reporter: a warm meal, a small sense of comfort. thousands of miles away from afghanistan. >> just pasta, thank you. >> reporter: this young woman, we're calling her laila to protect her family back home, is doing her best to make this refugee camp here at haloman air force base feel like home, at least for now. >> the first important thing about the camp that i and everyone else here likes is the safety that they are giving us. and the safety is something that
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we didn't have for years in afghanistan. >> reporter: the danger is still fresh for laila. >> i was in a bank waiting to withdraw some money. i heard gunshots. then everyone was like, taliban are here. we were hiding under the desks. after i got out, everyone was panicking. >> reporter: she didn't want to reveal her face last summer when she was still in afghanistan, just after kabul fell to the taliban. >> every time that there is a knock on the door, i think they are coming for me. because i have worked with international agencies. >> reporter: laila is in many respects what the taliban feared, a college-educated woman who flourished with the freedoms gained during the 20 years of u.s. intervention. why are educated women such a threat to the taliban? >> if i get educated, i am not going to let my sons go and join taliban and be one of them. and that is what every other mom would do.
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so they are afraid of us. >> reporter: laila and her husband, who we're calling youssef, are among 76,000 afghans forced to flee to the u.s. after the taliban returned. many worked for america or western allies. when we first met laila in december, she was one of the 34,000 waiting in limbo. nonprofit agencies and community groups have been working overtime to help get them into more permanent homes. we gained rare access to this tent city at hollerman air force base in new mexico, named amman omid village, which for afghans means "peace and hope." it popped up within days of the fall of kabul. >> this is that shining place for them to come to. >> reporter: brigadier general daniel gabrieli volunteered for this deployment as part of his national guard service. after three tours of duty in
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afghanistan, his sense of obligation to these afghans, who he sees as comrades in arms, is palpable. you said of your 33-year career, this is the most gratifying. why? >> i think it is because we're taking care of people who have taken care of us. right? what they have sacrificed for our security, which is a large amount. >> what would you say to those who are like, why are we taking in these foreigners into our country? >> my grandfather came over after world war i from italy. there's no difference between this migration and that migration. it's just the latest in the great american story. >> reporter: to the general and so many here, this compound is a modern-day ellis island. laila and youssef are today's immigrants. >> this looks great. >> reporter: those donated clothes help them and all residents get on their feet.
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she fled with nothing but a backpack, knowing their lives were in danger. human rights watch estimates that the taliban already killed more than 100 afghans at the top of their list for revenge. for helping americans. before laila and youssef boarded this evacuation flight to a u.s. base in qatar, she suspected she might be pregnant. >> but i still didn't check it until i get to doha. and they gave me this test, and they say it is positive. >> reporter: this is the moment she got startling news. as you found out you were having twins? >> oh, i didn't know that until, like, 13 weeks when i landed in new mexico. >> reporter: starting a family in the u.s. is not how they saw their lives unfolding on their wedding day nearly three years ago. this video, a poignant reminder of happier times in afghanistan, surrounded by loved ones, before
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the taliban seized power. >> in afghanistan, it was scary. because i didn't want to have a baby in that situation, especially with the taliban. girls not getting education. >> you were 3 when taliban came the first time. and your mother taught you? secretly? >> my mother and a friend of my mom would teach us how to read and write. like, we would hide our books and notebooks inside the koran. and then we would go to my mother's friend's house and then learn how to read and write there. >> reporter: laila and youssef knew they had to flee. they left everything behind in their homeland, including nearly all their friends and family, and there are so many women and girls still there. left behind. but here she's finding a new support system. in the cafeteria, laila dines with some young ladies she calls
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the three musketeers. >> when i came here, i was kind of, you know, depressed from all what happened. and they were the ones that really helped me. every day they would come to me, because they knew i have twins. so they would take good care of me. i really started liking them because they are like very free spirits. >> reporter: the village operates as a de facto boot camp for new arrivals. a crash course on how to become an american. everything from sewing classes to english classes. residents learn how to pay taxes and avoid spam calls. we also saw hundreds of kids playing outside. the majority of the refugees here are children. just before we met her, laila got news about her growing family's future. the resettlement agency she's working with told her their new home would be in south carolina, a chance to finally put down roots. youssef is excited to try to provide for his family as a
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furnituremaker. he's crafted everything from clock cases to tables to dressers. >> the whole thing is exciting for me here. i don't care if it's south carolina or if it's new york. it's just a new country, a new culture, a new land, a new people. always when i feel nauseous, potato chips help me. >> reporter: american-made salty snacks at the canteen are a simple pleasure for laila, who's now 17 weeks pregnant. it's been nine weeks of waiting in limbo for permanent housing. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> reporter: not long after we visited, laila learned the home she and youssef dreamed about in south carolina wasn't ready yet. it was the second time she and
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her husband's hopes were dashed. finally, on january 20th, the wait is over. youssef and laila, now 24 weeks pregnant, leave the base in new mexico. and touch down in the promised land, south carolina. >> it feels like living again. it feels like -- there we were surviving. and here we are living. >> reporter: their nearly four-month stay in the camp now in the rear-view mirror. >> here it is -- it's just home. it's what a home is supposed to be. it's just a feeling. i feel like home. i don't know why, i just feel like home. >> reporter: after months of sharing a tent with other families, the comfort of finally having a private bedroom is a
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luxury. >> you can speak to your husband and nobody knows, what did you say? at the end we would say something and then my musketeers would come in the morning and say, okay, that happened. and i'm like, how did you know? she's like, oh, sometimes you listen. >> reporter: a fully furnished apartment stocked with groceries and even a nursery for the soon to be arriving twins. all thanks to the open arms refugee ministry. >> we are here for a doctor appointment. and just to do an ultrasound. and also, i might know the genders of the babies. >> reporter: moments later -- >> it is a girl baby. >> reporter: the gender reveal. >> i had a dream of having two girls, so i was hoping for that. and i kind of knew that it might be two girls. >> reporter: two healthy girls. free to get educated, as
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americans, to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. >> i said, i don't want girls in afghanistan. but here, i am sure they're going to have a very great future. and we are going to be a happy family. >> our thanks to juju. up next, the opening on the supreme court. why now, and who's on the short list? well, well, well. look at you. you mastered the master bath. you created your own style. and you - yes, you! turned a sourdough starter into a sourdough finisher. so when you learn your chronic dry eye is actually caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation you take it on, by talking to your eyecare professional about restasis®... which may help you make more of your own tears with continued use twice a day, every day. restasis® helps increase your eye's natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye. restasis® did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops or tear duct plugs.
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replace retiring justice stephen breyer on the supreme court. and whoever that is will likely make history. a surprise retirement. stephen breyer, the oldest supreme court justice, will be stepping down from the bench at the end of this term. breyer's future had been closely watched ever since president biden took office. he spoke with abc news' george stephanopoulos last year. >> i've said there are many different considerations, and that i do not intend to die there on the court. i hope not. >> reporter: the supreme court has been a battleground for some of the most contentious issues of our times. abortion. gun control. affordable health care. and breyer was there for all of it, though he insisted the court was not political. his move today allowing president biden to nominate the first supreme court pick of his presidency. >> why not? justice breyer's looking into politics like everybody else, looking like the republicans are going to take over. >> reporter: with the president's approval ratings at an all-time low and the midterms
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impending, the time to act was now. >> democrats have a razor-thin majority in the senate. i think justice breyer is aware the 6-3 majority on the court is in the process of fundamentally changing the law in some significant ways. >> reporter: in the wake of three nominations by donald trump, progressives worried breyer's progressive seat could flip fuund if he staysed on on n as with ruth bader ginsburg. >> the view on the left that justice ginsburg should have stepped down to allow president obama to nominate her replacement, i think for a lot of liberals that was a cautionary tale about not retiring under a president who would nominate a like-minded successor. >> reporter: for many urging retirement, their message wasn't sult. >> kind of ticked him off a little bit. he very pointedly said, if justices follow the political will of partisans about when
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they retire, the public will lose respect for the court. >> reporter: on the 2020 campaign trail, joe biden promised to appoint the first black female supreme court justice. >> i'm looking forward to making sure there's a black woman on the supreme court to make sure we, in fact, get every representation. >> the court is dealing constantly with questions of race and policing and the electoral process and questions that touch on race across many bodies of law. >> reporter: biden's likely short list includes 51-year-old federal appellate judge ketanji brown jackson, who clerked under breyer. >> the most likely candidate is judge ketanji brown jackson, a very well respected judge on the d.c. circuit. she was on the sentencing commission. she served as a federal defender and also in private practice. in addition to now a number of years as a district court judge. and now a sitting judge in the d.c. circuit. >> reporter: 45-year-old california supreme court justice leondra kruger.
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55-year-old south carolina u.s. district court judge michelle childs. >> nominees are fond of saying, well, they're not voting as people, they're voting as judges, and their job is to interpret the law. but of course our backgrounds and lived experiences impact how we view the lay. >> reporter: stephen breyer's a crucial third of the supreme court's liberal minorit along with justices elena kagan and sonia sotomayor. in recent years the court became an ideological battleground, creating a super majority, and breyer often mediated between extremes. >> justice breyer used to say, dissents are a defeat. it means that you've failed to reach common ground. he always tried to do that with justice scalia and chief justice roberts and the other conservative voices on the court. >> reporter: appointed in 19 thor by bill clinton, breyer was a critic of the death penalty, a fierce defender of abortion rights. during the court's latest term, he voted to uphold the affordable care act, and joining
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every major supreme court decision in favor of lgbtq+ rights during his tenure. later this year, the court will vote on the landmark mississippi abortion law which could dramatically restrict a woman's right to an abortion, an issue close to breyer's heart. >> i expect justice breyer's last opinion, one of his last if not the last opinion, to be a fierce dissent. he'll leave the court on i think a sad note, because he was a staunch defender of the right to choose abortion under the constitution. >> reporter: though the court's future remains an open question, breyer's decades of service will form a legacy for years to come. >> from a personal point of view, there is nothing that could be both more interesting and more worthwhile. it calls forth and requires you to put forth what you have to give. you can't let up. you have to take everythingry single bit of it seriously. there's an old saying that every new justice changes the whole
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court. changes the discussions. changes the possibilities. as well as changes the votes. and i think that's what we're going to see. coming up, all good things, and "jeopardy!" winning streaks, must come to an end. but what stumped one of the greats? rdwood floors. but honestly, i didn't really know how to take care of them. that's until i found swiffer wetjet wood. it's specially made for wood floors with a microfiber-like pad that's really soft. and it sprays with a light mist that dries in half the time. that dirt and grime gets absorbed and locked away. the coolest part... it prevents streaks and haze better than my old mop. yeah, this is definitely the way to go. wetjet wood with a money-back guarantee. also try new sweeper wood cloths. does your vitamin c last twenty-four hours? only nature's bounty does. immune twenty-four hour plus has longer lasting vitamin c. plus, herbal and other immune superstars. only from nature's bounty.
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♪ ♪ ♪ finally tonight, amy schneider's reigned has "jeopardy!" champion, now ended. the 40-game winner losing in "final jeopardy." the category was "countries of the world." the clue, "the only nation in the world whose name in english ends in an h, it's also one of the 10 most populous." schneider drawing a blank. >> you looked at this for a long time. no response. >> the correct response -- >> what is bangladesh. that's a tough one. and that is correct. amy schneider, congratulations, what a run. thank you for the two months you've spent with us. it was very special, it was remarkable. >> reporter: she won more games than any other woman and increased visibility of the transgender community, her
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history-making run netting her more than $1.3 million. schneider's second only to all-time champ ken jennings. she'll be back for the "tournament of champions" this fall. that's "nightline." catch our full episode s s on h. thanks for the company, america. good night.

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