Take Action: Urge the Biden Administration and Congress to Protect & Welcome Our Afghan Neighbors


October 22, 2021

Following the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan after 2 decades, over 130,000 Afghans were evacuated of whom 44% are children. Tens of thousands of U.S.-affiliated and at-risk Afghans have been welcomed into the United States via “humanitarian parole,” which is a temporary immigration status typically only granted for 1 or 2 years to provide safety for people under threat. This temporary status thrusts Afghans arriving with humanitarian parole into legal uncertainty for the future since it does not provide a pathway to permanent status. We also know that countless vulnerable Afghans were left behind, at risk of violence and persecution. The administration has a moral obligation to establish safe pathways out of Afghanistan, a process to equitably and efficiently welcome Afghans, who are still in Afghanistan or in other host countries, to the U.S., and expand and expedite access to life-saving refugee protections.

We need Congress to take immediate action to ensure the passing of an Afghan Adjustment Act, legislation that would give Afghan arrivals the chance to apply to become lawful permanent residents. It is equally important that Congress hold the Biden administration accountable to continue evacuations of at-risk Afghans in Afghanistan and third countries, create a categorical parole program for Afghans, and waive humanitarian parole application fees.

Tell Congress to Enable Our Afghan Neighbors to Rebuild Their Lives in Safety
On the right-hand side, click “send email” to contact your 2 Senators and 1 Representative.
Make sure to personalize in-text brackets.

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN] and [as a person of faith/immigrant/refugee], I urge you to urgently honor our new Afghan neighbors by creating an opportunity for Afghans to apply to become lawful permanent residents and hold the administration accountable to honor our moral and legal obligations to Afghans still at-risk and facing life-threatening conditions. I call on you to:

  • Pass an Afghan Adjustment Act: Congress should immediately pass legislation that would allow Afghans who are being evacuated from Afghanistan and arriving with humanitarian parole, a temporary status, to have an opportunity to apply to become lawful permanent residents – the same legal status they would have received had they been admitted as refugees. Doing so will provide a roadmap to permanent status for Afghans on humanitarian parole after one year. Afghans arriving with humanitarian parole are fleeing violence and persecution and deserve an opportunity to rebuild their lives in safety — and without the fear and limitations associated with uncertain immigration status. This is also critical because Afghans were advised to destroy documents associating them to the U.S. mission and other information that would otherwise be used to pursue an asylum claim.
  • Hold the Biden administration accountable: Congress has a role to play in ensuring the administration creates safe pathways out of Afghanistan, establishes procedures to equitably and efficiently welcome Afghans who were left behind in Afghanistan or other host countries to the United States, and expands and expedites access to life-saving refugee protections. It is equally imperative that the administration creates a categorical parole program for Afghans, waives all application fees associated with humanitarian parole applications for Afghan nationals, at minimum for individuals with U.S. ties or loved ones in the United States, and scales up processing for humanitarian parole applications.

My community welcomes Afghan refugees, and I urge you to do the same.”

Amplify on Social Media: Share this message on social media using the sample social below.

  • Our allies & at-risk Afghans face persecution in Afghanistan + legal uncertainty in the U.S.
    @POTUS & Congress must take action to #KeepOurPromise to our Afghan neighbors.
    ➡️ #EvacuateOurAllies still stranded in Afghanistan & third countries
    ➡️ Pass the #AfghanAdjustmentAct NOW
  • For allies & at-risk Afghans left behind in Afghanistan by the U.S. gov’t, there is no safety. For Afghans arriving in the U.S., safety is only temporary.
    Our Afghan neighbors deserve better. #EvacuateOurAllies & pass the #AfghanAdjustmentAct NOW.
  • Afghan refugees deserve safety that lasts.
    Afghans left behind to violence & persecution deserve safety – full stop.
    @POTUS @SecMayorkas @SecBlinken @SecDef: It’s time to #EvacuateOurAllies & truly #WelcomeHome our Afghan neighbors.
  • Evacuating some is not enough.
    Temporary safety is not enough.
    It’s time to finish what we started. We must #EvacuateOurAllies & #WelcomeHome our Afghan neighbors to safety in the U.S.

Tell Your Governors and State & Local Officials How They Can Help: We created a community resource for how state and local policy-makers, as well as governors, can support Afghans in need of protection. Here is a one-page toolkit with background information and actions that state and local officials can take: https://bit.ly/StateLocalAfghanToolkit. Please contact Meredith Owen at mowen@cwsglobal.org with questions.

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ. Information about the pathways for Afghans to be welcomed to the United States is available here. For a collection of resources for Afghans seeking assistance, and actions individuals, organizations, and elected officials can take to support vulnerable Afghans, please check out: https://rcusa.org/afghanistan/. To learn more about how you can help loved ones overseas and welcome newly-arrived Afghan families, please visit: https://bit.ly/CWSAfghanResources. Information about how to volunteer with CWS is available here. Check out CWS’s Lunch and Learn series on how to help Afghans seeking refuge (PowerPoint and Q&A). For more actions, check out our Top 5 Ways to Support Afghans Seeking Refuge to learn what else you can do today.

Resources: 

Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your networks!