Washington, D.C.—CWS today celebrates the passage of the FY 2022 Continuing Resolution, which will, in part, extend necessary welcome measures to help Afghans seeking refuge in the United States integrate and thrive. CWS notes, however, that the administration and Congress must do more to offer stability to arriving Afghans following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and at-risk Afghans who remain in Afghanistan and other host countries.
This legislation importantly authorizes Afghans who entered the United States on humanitarian parole to receive resettlement benefits, provides supplemental funding to support our communities in expanding our capacity to welcome Afghans, requires the federal government to expedite consideration of Afghan humanitarian parolees’ asylum applications, and deems Afghans with humanitarian parole eligible for a driver’s licenses or identification cards under the REAL ID Act of 2005.In response to the passage of the resolution, Erol Kekic, Senior Vice President for the Immigration and Refugee Program at Church World Service issued the following statement:
“The Afghan friends and allies arriving in our communities have fled violence and persecution, left everything behind, and traveled thousands of miles for a chance at safety and protection. It is good for all of us that they have access to the benefits and services they need to get a great start in their new homes. This is an important step toward securing their futures so they can be not only arrivals, but neighbors and vital parts our communities.”
“We urge Congress and the administration to build on this legislation. That begins with passing a bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act, so that Afghans arriving with humanitarian parole have an opportunity to apply for legal permanent residence in upcoming must-pass legislation. It also means holding the administration accountable to ongoing evacuations to the United States for those overseas—including those in Afghanistan and other host countries—creating a categorical parole program for Afghan nationals, and waiving all application fees associated with humanitarian parole applications. This can’t end here, not just for the safety of the thousands of Afghans who yearn to be part of this great nation, but for our legacy as a country built on the promise of welcome.”
For more information on how CWS is welcoming Afghan refugees, or to speak with Kekic, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.