TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Welcome Our Afghan Neighbors

September 27, 2021

Communities ready to welcome refugees and help them integrate and thrive are welcoming and assisting upwards of 75,000 vulnerable Afghans who have been evacuated from Afghanistan. Most of our new Afghan neighbors are entering the United States with “humanitarian parole,” which is temporary immigration relief and does not make them automatically eligible for refugee resettlement services. 

We need Congress to take action this week to ensure Afghan evacuees receive resettlement and integration services — and that our communities have the resources they need to provide these services. It is equally important that Congress pass legislation to give Afghan arrivals the chance to apply for legal permanent residence. 

Tell Congress to Enable Our Afghan Allies and Friends 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/refugee], I urge you to equip our communities with the resources we need to welcome our Afghan neighbors and help them integrate and thrive. Congress should immediately authorize Afghans entering the United States with humanitarian parole to receive full refugee resettlement benefits, provide supplemental funding for that purpose to ensure our communities have the resources they need to serve Afghan arrivals, and create an opportunity for Afghans to apply for legal permanent residence. I call on you to:

  • Pass the House-passed FY 2022 Continuing Resolution. The Senate should immediately take up and pass the House-passed CR, as it authorizes Afghan parolees’ access to the same benefits as refugees admitted by the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). These benefits include English lessons, job training, and educational support for children. It also provides supplemental funding to provide services to our new Afghan arrivals, which funding will be dispersed to help states and local communities welcome and support refugees.
  • Pass an Afghan Adjustment Act: Congress should immediately pass legislation that would allow Afghan parolees who are being evacuated from Afghanistan to have an opportunity to seek legal permanent residence. These parolees 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 not in Afghanistan to the United States, and expands and expedites 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, at minimum for individuals with U.S. ties or loved ones in the United States, and creates an electronic application process for these applications.”

Amplify on Social Media: Share this message on social media using the sample social below, and use these social media graphics:

  • Tens of thousands of Afghans will arrive in the U.S. in the coming weeks. Every single one of them deserves the chance to rebuild their lives in safety. Congress, the time to act is NOW! #AfghanEvac
  • Our communities are #ReadytoWelcome the tens of thousands of vulnerable Afghans who have been evacuated from Afghanistan. We have compassion. We need the resources. Our Afghan neighbors deserve the opportunity to integrate and thrive in their new homes. #AfghanEvac 
  • 📢 Say it loud: we are #ReadytoWelcome our Afghan neighbors! We must ensure our communities are equipped to welcome newly arriving Afghans with the critical services they need to thrive in their new homes. #AfghanEvac

Tell Your Governors and State & Local Officials How They Can Help: We created a new 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. There are four main actions, including writing a letter to the White House. We have a template letter that officials can use/adapted/copied, available here: https://bit.ly/StateLocalAfghanLetter. 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 contact Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) to learn more about how you can help, email AFGHANISTANRESPONSE@RCUSA.ORG. 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.

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