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Press Release // Refugee Resettlement

Congress Introduces the Afghan Adjustment Act

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Global Refuge Staff

August 9, 2022

Contact: Tim Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org | 443-257-6310

WASHINGTON D.C. – Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the launch of Operation Allies Welcome, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have now introduced the Afghan Adjustment Act.

More than 70,000 Afghans were admitted to the U.S. on “humanitarian parole” following the military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which grants permission to enter the U.S. temporarily, but does not confer a pathway to lawful permanent residence. The Afghan Adjustment Act would allow eligible Afghans to apply for lawful permanent residence after one year or two years of U.S. physical presence, respectively, and after clearing additional background checks.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by both Democrats and Republicans, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The bill was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Rep.  Peter Meijer (R-MI-3), Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO-6), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-2), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-6), and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA-52).

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Global Refuge – a national refugee resettlement agency that has welcomed more than 13,500 Afghans since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan:

“We are deeply grateful to Congressional leaders for recognizing the urgency and moral imperative to keep our promise to our Afghan allies. This vital legislation addresses the legal limbo that tens of thousands of evacuees still face, and offers them the stability and peace of mind they need to thrive in their new communities.

The bill transcends party lines, reflecting the broad support and zealous advocacy of veterans, refugee advocates, faith leaders, and ordinary Americans across the country and the political spectrum. We urge elected officials to swiftly pass this critical legislation and do right by those who risked everything to support the American mission in Afghanistan. This is how we stand by those who stood by us. Congress has passed similar legislation for every other modern wartime evacuee population, and we simply cannot finish the mission without enshrining these protections into law.”

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