On Anniversary of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, CWS Calls for Pathway to Permanent Status for Afghan Refugees

August 29, 2022

Washington, D.C.—This Tuesday, August 30th, CWS will mark the one year anniversary of the chaotic and rushed departure of the final U.S. military flight from Kabul, Afghanistan. Today, there are 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees around the world, tens of thousands of whom were relocated to the United States since the Taliban wrongfully took control of the country. Since last August, U.S. communities have welcomed more than 75,000 Afghan refugees as neighbors, friends, co-workers, and peers. As our new neighbors rebuild their lives in safety in the United States, CWS urges Congress to swiftly pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, legislation that would provide an opportunity for relocated Afghans to apply to become lawful permanent residents.

“Afghans have endured being forced from their homes, many leaving behind loved ones as they fled,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy with CWS. “In the face of this loss and upheaval, Afghan refugees continue to show resilience, courage, and perseverance as they rebuild their lives and thrive in their new homes. Yet as they work alongside us, enroll their children in schools with ours, and become integral members of our communities, they still live in doubt. The United States must keep its promise to at-risk Afghans, including by continuing ongoing relocation and resettlement of Afghans who are in danger overseas, as well as Afghans who were paroled into the United States who need the swift passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act to find the lasting peace they deserve. Every Afghan family deserves a peaceful and dignified immigration process and a pathway to permanent protection, our moral call to welcome demands nothing less.”

As part of the U.S. evacuation and relocation process, the administration utilized humanitarian parole to welcome vulnerable Afghans, who faced imminent threats to their lives. Humanitarian parole is temporary and does not provide a pathway to permanent status. Given the temporary nature of parole, tens of thousands of the relocated Afghan men, women, and children resettled in the U.S. have been navigating complex legal issues to find lasting protection. Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced the Afghan Adjustment Act (S.4787 / H.R.8685), which provides a roadmap to permanent status for Afghans and ensures they can apply to become lawful permanent residents. 

For more information, or to speak with Owen, contact media@cwsglobal.org