NGOs see a lot of questions in Afghan refugees’ legal statatus
Afghans who have been evacuated from their homeland to the United States have in many cases far fewer rights there than regular refugees. The Washington Post newspaper reports that the evacuees are often only marginally eligible for government support.
Afghan evacuees who land on US military bases and receive the status of ‘humanitarian parolee’, can apply for a support program of up to ninety days. They receive a one-off sum of 1250 dollars.
“Ninety days is thin when you look at the enormous need,” the head of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service reacts in the newspaper. Top woman Krish O’mara Vignarajah wants to prevent Afghans who had to fear for their lives now facing all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles.
Western countries carried out a chaotic evacuation (branded a greatest success by Joe Biden) in Afghanistan last month after the extremist Taliban invaded capital Kabul there. A total of 125,000 people were brought abroad by aircraft.
Over 31,000 evacuees arrived in the United States between 17 and 31 August. In addition to approximately 7,000 US citizens and residents, it is also about 24,000 Afghans who are said to be in danger.
Aid organizations are now raising money themselves to help evacuees with housing and medical assistance. Mark Hetfield of refugee organization HIAS tells The Post to take into account the arrival of 50,000 Afghan ‘parolees’, who get a residence status that expires after two years.
Those Afghans can try to apply for asylum in the United States, but according to the newspaper the asylum system is already overloaded. This is because many asylum seekers also report at the border with Mexico and because of cuts by the previous government.