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Afghan Adjustment Act offers hope to Afghan refugees

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2022 | Immigration News |

Thousands of Afghans who fled their country before the former government returned to power are getting a much-welcomed reprieve in the US. That reprieve, however, is not yet permanent. But, some US Senators are working hard to change that. Six of them proposed the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would give Afghans in Illinois and other US cities an opportunity to become US citizens.

The US wants to make good on its promise

Many of the Afghans coming to America worked alongside the US Army to help them in their efforts purportedly to bring democracy to the region. They also worked as translators. In return for their work, which came with real risks of danger, they were offered permanent residence in the US. Many stepped up to the plate and did not hesitate to help.

There are approximately 76,000 currently in the US, and thousands more are in Afghanistan awaiting visas to come to America. Those who fled prior to America withdrawing from Afghanistan are in the US on a temporary humanitarian status. Without a permanent status, nonetheless, they could be returned to their native country. If these individuals or their families were returned, they run the risk of death.

Working together to make a difference

There is hope, however. At present, there are two primary ways they could apply for lawful permanent residence: asylum and a Special Immigrant Visa. While both are viable options, the application processes are backlogged for the foreseeable future.

But, the problems that impede progress for the legal status of these immigrants is clearly on the radar. There has been a meeting of the minds between high-ranking clergy in the Catholic Church and US politicians. They are pooling their efforts to ensure that those who seek refuge in the US due to political persecution in their native country will find it in the country they helped defend.

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