Biden Administration Grants Afghans In The U.S. Momentary Protected Standing

1000’s of Afghans who evacuated their nation following the U.S. withdrawal final 12 months and the precipitous fall of the Afghan authorities have since lived in concern of deportation, notably these paroled into the USA with no clear immigration pathway. However on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced momentary protected standing (TPS) for 18 months for any Afghans residing within the U.S. as of March 15.

“This TPS designation will help to protect Afghan nationals who have already been living in the United States from returning to unsafe conditions,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated. “Under this designation, TPS will also provide additional protections and assurances to trusted partners and vulnerable Afghans who supported the U.S. military, diplomatic, and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.”

This comes after DHS issued a similar TPS designation earlier this month to Ukrainian, Sudanese, and South Sudanese nationals residing in the USA in response to their international locations’ persevering with wars and violence.

Within the aftermath of the Taliban takeover and chaotic airlift in August of final 12 months, greater than 76,000 Afghans arrived in the United States. Upon arrival, the overwhelming majority got two years of humanitarian parole as an pressing authorized choice to enter American soil, however didn’t have a path to lawful everlasting residency. They’re now unfold all through the nation, with many in Virginia, California and Texas.

Nearly half of the refugees could regulate their standing via a particular immigrant visa (SIV) program that allows Afghans and Iraqis who’ve labored for the U.S. authorities to completely settle within the U.S. However in line with a Department of Homeland Security report

, 36,433 non-SIV Afghan evacuees haven’t any clear path to everlasting authorized standing, leaving them in a susceptible place which may ultimately end in deportation.

Advocacy organizations have been urging legislators to introduce and go laws that may permit Afghans at the moment on humanitarian parole in the USA to turn out to be lawful everlasting residents in the USA. The marketing campaign has additionally included efforts to get temporary protected status for Afghans to avoid wasting them from being deported if they’re unable to change their standing earlier than their parole expires.

A rustic could also be designated for temporary protected status when situations within the nation fall into a number of of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed battle, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and momentary situations.

Advocates welcomed DHS’s resolution and stated it’s a important step ahead for Afghans who’ve been residing in uncertainty in the USA for the final a number of months. “Given the original intent and purpose of TPS, it was absolutely necessary for Afghans in the United States,” Joseph M. Azam, the board chair of Afghan-American Basis, an advocacy group for Afghan refugees, informed HuffPost. “It could serve as a backstop for tens of thousands who have resettled after being evacuated last year,”

“Our immigration system is outdated and overwhelmed, adjusting status can take years and people fall through its cracks all the time. TPS offers a measure of protection against that devastating potential outcome,” Azam stated.

TPS additionally advantages hundreds of different Afghans who had been within the nation earlier than the evacuation as college students or in another capability and haven’t departed.

Since TPS is a short lived treatment, it doesn’t totally alleviate Afghans’ nervousness and uncertainty about their future within the U.S. To place Afghans on a path to everlasting residence and, in the end, citizenship, a long-term legislative resolution is required. Advocates have proposed the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA), which might allow all Afghans in authorized limbo to turn out to be lawful everlasting residents after a 12 months. Nevertheless, there was little motion in Congress on the problem.

“Of course, TPS is not enough because it’s temporary and the only just and acceptable result here is for Afghans to gain permanent status in the U.S. through something like the AAA,” Azam stated.

In accordance with the DHS assertion, those that try to journey to the USA after March 15 won’t be eligible for TPS, which means tens of hundreds of people trapped in Afghanistan and different international locations hoping to achieve the U.S. within the coming months or years won’t be included by the designation.


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