More than 70,000 Afghan refugees have renewed their temporary legal status | wayne dupree

As congressional efforts to legalize them stall, the Biden administration intends to give tens of thousands of Afghans who were brought to the United States after the Taliban took over their country of origin the possibility of applying to stay and work legally in the country for at least another two years.

Following the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision, Afghan evacuees who were resettled on a large scale in 2021 and 2022 will have the opportunity to renew their temporary work permits and safeguards against deportation as part of conditional immigration policy.

In order to debate the policy decision before it is made public, the sources claimed that eligible Afghans would be allowed to apply online to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to apply. renewal of their parole classification. According to one of the people, the agency intends to start accepting renewal applications in June.

Over the next several months, USCIS will establish at least five assistance centers across the country to connect Afghans with attorneys who can help evacuees apply for immigration benefits that provide them with permanent legal status, such as ‘asylum. In addition, the centers will provide job search support and other services to help Afghans integrate into American society.

A Homeland Security representative, Angelo Fernández Hernández, said the agency was working to “provide guidance” to Afghans who were granted parole and brought back to the country “as soon as possible”.

Fernández Hernández said, “DHS remains committed to assisting Afghan nationals released as part of Operation Allies Welcome, and we continue to seek ways to offer humanitarian assistance.

Tens of thousands of Afghans who were preparing for the possibility of losing their right to work and live legally in the United States this summer would benefit greatly from action by the Biden administration. In July, the parole status of the first group of evacuees transported to the United States in 2021 was set to expire.

In addition to American citizens, residents and nationals of other countries, the United States evacuated tens of thousands of Afghans during the tumultuous military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. The Biden administration subsequently admitted 77,000 evacuees under the power of parole after checking them at overseas military sites. .

While the use of parole allowed the United States to accept Afghans without having to go through the lengthy refugee or visa processes, it also meant that, absent congressional intervention, evacuees would face an uncertain legal future.

Those brought to the United States on parole have no clear path to permanent residency and are only allowed to stay in the country temporarily – two years in the case of Afghans – unlike immigrants entering the country with refugee status or specific visas.

The White House and a group of senators from both parties have been lobbying Congress to offer evacuated Afghans the option to apply for permanent residency. However, efforts to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act have failed due to a lack of support from congressional Republicans, some of whom say the Biden administration failed to conduct a thorough review of evacuees.

President Biden’s government has used parole on an unprecedented scale, including as part of a campaign to deter Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans from illegally crossing the southern border by allowing them to enter legally in the country provided they have sponsors who are US citizens. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, the administration has also relied on the power to take in tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Congress has worked to legitimize various groups since the 1950s, including Cuban exiles, Hungarians fleeing Soviet tyranny, and refugees leaving war-torn Southeast Asia after the fall of Saigon. But given the deepening partisan gridlock in Congress on immigration issues, lawmakers are less likely to pass the bill to legalize Afghan evacuees.

The Biden administration recently extended similar assistance to more than 20,000 Ukrainians processed along the southern border last year, whose residence permits in the United States were due to expire this spring. This decision allowing Afghans to apply for parole extensions comes just weeks after this announcement.

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