Support an Afghan Adjustment Act

 

 

Take action to support a roadmap for lasting safety and security for Afghan evacuees.

It’s been over a year since roughly 80,000 at-risk and vulnerable Afghans were evacuated to the U.S. during the US withdrawal. Among those brought to the U.S. were Afghan interpreters, embassy workers and U.S. government personnel and their families who assisted the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Initial figures estimated that about half (44%) of the arriving population were children. Today, hundreds are navigating the intricate maze of U.S. immigration policies applicable to them while under the limited protection of humanitarian parole.

Congress has now introduced the bicameral and bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act (H.R. 8685 / S. 4787). The act would ensure Afghans seeking to make the United States their home can immediately apply to become lawful permanent residents after meeting a 2-year presence requirement. Applicants would be subject to rigorous vetting measures equivalent to the existing requirements placed upon refugees admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admission Program. The bill also requires the establishment of an interagency taskforce to coordinate relocation efforts for Afghans that remain at risk in Afghanistan or neighboring countries.

Humanitarian parole, by which most Afghan evacuees arrivedis a temporary status offering Afghans the opportunity to work and remain in the United States for a one- to two-year period. However, it offers few real prospects for permanent residency. In previous uses of humanitarian parole following U.S. military withdrawals and humanitarian emergencies, Congress has passed similar adjustment of status acts.

At a time like this, the church is called to be a serving presence in society, to advocate for generosity and compassionate welcome for those in need. For many Afghan evacuees, the transition into a new life hasn’t been easy. Many had to leave everything they knew behind to rebuild their lives in a country very distant in almost every way from their own. This is an experience which may resonate with many Lutherans.Our ELCA social message on “Immigrationrecommends “fair and compassionate legislative solutions to the plight of refugees whose present temporary legal status is threatened.”

Customize the letter below for your member of Congress.

S
hare your convictions and lift up any connection you may have to ongoing resettlement efforts to relayour Christian witness in this situation  

 

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  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

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Dear [Decision Maker],

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]