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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Global Refuge Commends DHS on announcement of Afghan “Re-parole” Process

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Global Refuge Staff

May 5, 2023

Contact: Tim Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced that it will open a new re-parole process for Afghans evacuated to the United States through Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) beginning in June 2023. Starting on May 17, DHS will also begin to host Afghan Support Centers across the country, where U.S. government personnel and nongovernmental organizations will provide information regarding immigration and social services available for those who arrived through OAW.

The news comes just months before the earliest evacuees were set to lose parole protections, a major source of stress and anxiety. Amid concerns, advocates have stepped-up efforts to press the administration for a streamlined, accessible, and efficient process that would be announced early enough to provide evacuees with a meaningful opportunity to continue accessing vital benefits.

“Our new Afghan neighbors have faced burdens, barriers, and backlogs as they strive to set down roots and find lasting protection in the U.S.,” said Jill Marie Bussey, Director for Public Policy at Global Refuge. “We commend the Biden administration for recognizing the importance of this vital bridge in protection. Implementing an efficient, accessible and efficient re-parole process will provide Afghans with much-needed reassurance and time to pursue other pathways to lawful permanent residency. We are deeply grateful for USCIS’s leadership and commitment to conducting robust and meaningful public outreach to Afghans facing a ticking clock.”

While approximately 77,000 Afghans were admitted to the U.S. on parole following the evacuation, as of February 12, fewer than 5,000 applications for asylum or special immigrant visas had been approved. In Congress, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers have championed the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would allow Afghan parolees the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency; however, the push to pass the legislation has stalled.

“The troublingly low number of Afghans who have secured permanent status makes clear the imperative for Congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act,” said Helal Massomi, Afghan Policy Advisor at Global Refuge and an evacuee from Afghanistan herself. “Only lawmakers can lift the weight from their shoulders, deliver these families from legal limbo, and keep our nation’s promise of protection.”

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