On World Refugee Day, Evacuate Our Allies Calls on Congress, Biden Administration to Protect Afghan Refugees

WASHINGTON – To commemorate World Refugee Day, the Evacuate Our Allies coalition (EOA) calls on Congress and the Biden administration to protect Afghan refugees by passing an Afghan Adjustment Act and ensuring safe pathways out of Afghanistan exist for those fleeing the Taliban. While this 300-member coalition of 190 organizations focuses on the relocation of at-risk Afghans, EOA recognizes that all refugees, no matter what countries they come from, have a right to protection from danger and persecution.

“The most important thing our government can do for Afghan refugees is to enact the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide permanent protection for Afghan refugees and allow them to securely rebuild their lives in the United States,” said Chris Purdy, Director of Veterans for American Ideals and Outreach, a member organization of EOA.  “Evacuate Our Allies and its member organizations will continue to make that legislation a priority until it is signed into law.”

Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 130,000 Afghans – almost half of them children – were relocated. Thousands of Afghans who arrived in the United States were granted humanitarian parole, a temporary immigration status typically granted for one or two years. The Afghan Adjustment Act would allow Afghan evacuees to apply to become lawful permanent residents one year after arrival.

“This World Refugee Day we honor the 2.6 million Afghans displaced from their home after Kabul’s fall to the Taliban. Those arriving in the United States are working to improve their lives: they are applying for jobs, improving their language skills, and enrolling their children in local schools. Americans across the country – from Los Angeles, California to Concord, New Hampshire – are opening their homes to these families, providing them housing amid a tight rental market,” said Seelai Karzai, manager of the Evacuate Our Allies coalition. “While such actions speak to Afghans’ initiative and Americans’ hospitality, the U.S. government must do its part. Congress needs to pass an Afghan Adjustment Act, which would make legal permanent residency and citizenship a reality for our Afghan neighbors. Afghan refugees, and all those from around the world displaced by violence and persecution, deserve a safe place to call home.”

Vulnerable Afghans remain left behind in Afghanistan, risking violence and persecution. EOA calls on the administration to honor its promise to protect at-risk Afghans, many of whom risked their lives supporting the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, by establishing safe pathways out of the country. We also advocate for equitably and efficiently processing Afghans – many of whom are still in Afghanistan and in other host countries – to welcome them to the United States.

Evacuate Our Allies is a coalition of human rights, religious, and refugee organizations working alongside veterans and frontline civilians to advance 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 group has helped evacuate, welcome, and support the resettlement of at-risk Afghans since the fall of Kabul.

Press

Published on September 19, 2022

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