In the last two years, the United States has welcomed tens of thousands of Afghans—including political leaders, activists, people who aided the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, and their family members—so that they might restart their lives here in safety after the U.S. military withdrawal and the fall of their country to the Taliban.
But America’s welcome has not yet gone far enough. Afghans seeking safety were brought here by the U.S. government through a humanitarian parole program designed to provide refuge quickly to people under threat. But the program offers only temporary protection and no path to permanent residency. That leaves tens of thousands of our new Afghan neighbors in limbo.
We must act now to provide permanency and security to Afghan newcomers.
Like thousands of people seeking safety in the United States before them, Afghans bring with them skills, unique perspectives, and a powerful determination to make the most of this second chance at a peaceful future filled with opportunity. Already, our new Afghan neighbors are working in critical sectors of the U.S. economy and making significant contributions to U.S. communities and culture. They join hundreds of thousands of Afghan Americans who have been integral members of our communities for decades and who have made significant contributions to U.S. public life.
For Afghans rebuilding their lives in the United States, #ThisIsHome. Now Congress must act.
Legislators from both parties in the U.S. House and Senate recently introduced the Afghan Adjustment Act, a bill that provides a path to permanent residency for the more than 70,000 Afghans paroled into the United States in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The bill also expands eligibility for special immigrant visas to people who worked for the Afghan military and their families. The legislation would also provide additional congressional oversight over ongoing relocation and resettlement of Afghans.
We can make a difference.
Congress must urgently pass this bill so that Afghans who only have temporary protection gain the security and stability they need to rebuild their lives and thrive. This legislation will be an important step to demonstrate support for Afghans who aided the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees and their relatives in the United States. It will allow those who deserve long-term protection to make the United States home.
Will you help? Act now.
Featured Image: Afghan refugee girls watch a soccer match near where they are staying at the Ft. McCoy U.S. Army base on September 30, 2021 in Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin. Photo by BARBARA DAVIDSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.