US President Joe Biden’s administration is stopping – with a couple of exceptions – the non permanent relocation of Afghans to america and specializing in reuniting rapid relations with pathways to everlasting residence, in keeping with a senior administration official.
The coverage revision follows criticism by some lawmakers, refugee organizations and veterans teams that the administration didn’t correctly plan the evacuation of Afghans susceptible to Taliban retribution when it pulled the final US troops out of Afghanistan a yr in the past.
The administration says the evacuation – marred by chaos at Kabul airport and a suicide bombing that killed 13 US service members and greater than 170 Afghans – was a hit, with practically 90,000 Afghans resettled in america in one of many largest operations of its type.
The administration’s “commitment to our Afghan allies is enduring,” the senior administration official mentioned whereas briefing reporters on Wednesday on modifications to the relocation coverage. “This commitment does not have an end date.”
The revised coverage, dubbed Enduring Welcome, begins on October 1.
Beneath the modifications, the official mentioned, america will cease – with a couple of exceptions – admitting Afghans on humanitarian parole, a particular program that grants non permanent entry however no pathway to lawful everlasting residence.
The revised coverage, the official mentioned, will give attention to relocating to america rapid relations of U.S. residents, inexperienced card holders and Afghans with Particular Immigration Visas (SIVs) granted to these susceptible to Taliban retaliation as a result of they labored for the U.S. authorities.
Relations admitted from these classes can have “durable, long-term immigration status,” permitting them to “more quickly settle and integrate into their new communities,” the official mentioned. “We know family reunification remains a really high priority for Afghans themselves and for the communities who care about them and for advocates across the country, veterans groups as well,” mentioned the official. “It is for us, too.”
The revised coverage follows months of talks between the administration and the AfghanEvac coalition of teams that assist evacuate and resettle Afghans in america.
“It’s a massive deal for us,” mentioned Sean VanDiver, the coalition head, including that the federal government nonetheless wants to enhance processing SIV purposes and enhance relocation flights.