Afghan Humanitarian Parolee is the legal status temporarily given to Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan by the US military until the entrance date of June 2022. Through this status, they qualify for case management and social services. They receive employment authorization for two years along with restricted social security cards. The two main legal options for them moving forward is through the SIV program or through seeking Asylum.
What is the Afghan Adjustment Act?
…ensure that eligible Afghan evacuees have been subject to rigorous vetting and screening procedures (and) improve and expand pathways to protection for those left behind and at risk in Afghanistan
National Immigration Forum explains, “the Afghan Adjustment Act, or S.4787, is a bipartisan bill that would provide a path to permanent status to tens of thousands of Afghans who were evacuated to the U.S. following the fall of Kabul in August 2021. The legislation also includes provisions to ensure that eligible Afghan evacuees have been subject to rigorous vetting and screening procedures, and it would improve and expand pathways to protection for those left behind and at risk in Afghanistan.”
How to Advocate for Afghans to stay in the U.S?
You can advocate for our new Afghan communities to receive a pathway to permanent legal status through the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA). Place a call with your local congressional representative and communicate that you would like the AAA bill to pass. Find your congressional representative here: Find Your Representative | house.gov. In addition, Evangelical Immigration Table has set up an email option for the purpose of contacting our legislators: Urge your legislators to allow Afghans to pursue permanent legal status! Join us in advocating for our newly arrived Afghan Neighbors!
Do you know an Afghan family who is looking for legal assistance?
If an Afghan family hasn’t been connected to Legal Assistance, they can contact Advocates for Human Rights at 612-293-9335 or through their website: Afghan Evacuees – The Advocates for Human Rights. The State of MN Resettlement Program Office has set up a protocol that all Afghans must be screened through Advocates and they will make referrals to the other legal teams. If the family has tried to call multiple times with no result, they may contact the Arrive Office for assistance in getting through.
For Afghan families connected to Legal Assistance and with a case, but hasn’t heard anything for a concerning amount of time, they can call to advocate for a specific case. First, they must call their legal rep to check on the status of their case. Their legal rep will be able to confirm if their case’s processing time is outside of the expected window. If it is, their legal rep will submit an inquiry with USCIS. If all of these steps have been taken and there is still no word, the family may use the USCIS contact center to inquire for themselves USCIS Contact Center | USCIS. It is important to note multiple inquiries can slow down processing times and must only be used as a last resort.
What about Afghan families members who are still overseas?
Unfortunately, members who hold the Afghan Parolee Status do not have the legal status eligible for requesting family members into the U.S. However, once they have been approved for Asylum, they are able to file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR). An AOR is a filed request for immediate family members to join their family in the U.S. You can assist the family in advocating with their immigration counselor and requesting the options they might have through this pathway. More information can be found at: https://www.state.gov/afghanistan-family-reunification/.