More on the status of our recent Afghan refugees

Continued disgraceful response by the United States to Afghan refugees, including those to whom we have a special obligation due to their affiliation with the U.S.

Great reporting by the Washington Post: Many Afghans rushed out of the country and largely now in military bases in the U.S. (such as Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico) came as “paroles,” with two year status and no assurance of a green card, little practical access to applying for asylum given as Homeland Security’ asylum processing is tied up on the Mexican border.

They have a legal right of limited assistance for up to 90 days, including a one-time $1,250 stipend. They do not have the full range of medical, counseling and resettlement services available to immigrants who arrive through the U.S. refugee program.

Many of those who arrived are separated from nuclear family members still in Afghanistan or other countries such as Turkey, thanks to the chaotic departure of Americans.

A resettlement expert says that “The refugee resettlement system has been decimated [by the Trump administration], so our local offices are unable to accept parolees right now without an assurance of our ability to cover costs like medical expenses immediately.”

Biden administration drafted the Afghan Adjustment Act, to allow those paroled into the country to apply for green cards after a year, making it easier for them to become permanent residents and bring relatives left behind.

43,000 Afghan evacuees are waiting at transit sites in Europe and the Middle East.

Special Immigration Visa holders and applicants: it’s not clear how many of the roughly 80,000 Afghans admitted since the Summer either hold this visa are eligible for it. The U.S. military advertised this visas as a means to attract translators and other assistance. The screwed up nature of the SIV program was reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Here are maps of where Afghan immigrants concentrate in the U.S.

Washington Post articles here and here.

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