Administration Safeguards Afghans from Returning to Danger
WASHINGTON D.C. – Human Rights First welcomes the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to assure that Afghan nationals who worked with the U.S. military and the Afghan government or were targeted by the Taliban are not unjustly denied U.S. protection due to unduly broad provisions in U.S. immigration law.
“We applaud the Biden administration for ensuring the United States offers protection to at-risk Afghans who served as soldiers alongside the U.S. military and worked as human rights advocates and in the government,” said Chris Purdy, Director of Veterans for American Ideals and Outreach at Human Rights First. “Their lives are at risk because they stood up to the Taliban, and the U.S. Government recognizes that their safety is our responsibility. The next critical step is an Afghan Adjustment Act so these allies can find permanent protection and homes in this country.”
The administration has the authority to grant exemptions from these inadmissibility provisions, an authority that was expanded by a bipartisan effort in 2007.
Although it has not yet seen the underlying exemptions, Human Rights First welcomes this announcement. The organization, which has previously issued reports and analyses on the unintended impact of these provisions on refugee populations, looks forward to analyzing these developments and providing additional information to assist the many attorneys who have stepped forward to represent at-risk Afghans with their asylum and immigration cases.
Human Rights First helps lead Evacuate Our Allies, a coalition that advances government action and accountability to fulfill promises of safe passage, welcome, and protection for at-risk Afghans following the decades-long U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The organization has also launched PALA: Project Afghan Legal Assistance, a coalition of over 190 other organizations and 800 pro bono attorneys serving the needs of Afghans forced to flee.