Urge Congress to Support the Afghan Adjustment Act
Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 60,000 Afghans have arrived in the United States with many more being processed and screened at U.S. military bases overseas. Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and the other refugee resettlement agencies have taken enormous steps to resettle these arrivals. While we have praised Congress for passing legislation that expands the number of Afghan arrivals eligible for refugee resettlement benefits, as well as provided EMM with funding to assist with resettling these individuals, Afghans continue to experience long-term legal and administrative hurdles to their integration despite their arrival last August.

This problem is especially acute for Afghans who arrived through a process known as humanitarian parole. Under parole, Afghans can enter and stay in the United States like their compatriots who arrive through other programs such as the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) and the U.S. Refugee Admissions programs. While the latter two programs provide Afghans with dedicated channels to apply for a green card, individuals arriving through parole receive a temporary status that lacks these dedicated channels. Instead, these individuals must find other ways to seek a green card, including applying through the asylum program which has a severe backlog of cases that can leave these individuals waiting for the resolution of their cases for years.

We are renewing our call for Congress to introduce and pass the Afghan Adjustment Act to create a specific program that would allow all Afghan arrivals to directly apply for a green card without needing to go through alternate channels such as the asylum system. President Biden took the important step of including the Act in his congressional request to fund the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine. Given that Congress will be voting on the Ukrainian-focused bill as soon as this week, we believe that Congress should take the President’s lead and introduce the Act in this bill and pass it as soon as possible. 

Taking the steps proposed in the Afghan Adjustment Act would fulfill the Church’s call to promote the full social and integration of newcomers to the United States, including refugees seeking protection in the United States. The Church’s members can send the rewritten message to their Senators and Representatives to ensure that we finish the year having laid the foundations for the successful integration of our Afghan allies.

Support the Resettlement of Refugees

Episcopal Migration Ministries, the refugee resettlement and migration ministry of The Episcopal Church, is currently working in partnership with the U.S. government to assist Afghan SIVs and other arrivals with resettlement and direct services through a network of 11 affiliates across the U.S. As we continue to welcome and resettle Afghans to the U.S. through our affiliate network and engagement programs, the greatest need continues to be assistance with housing. Those who want to financially support these efforts can make a donation online here or donate by mail and send checks to:

DFMS-Protestant Episcopal Church US
P.O. Box 958983
St. Louis, MO 63195-8983
(Include Episcopal Migration Ministries and Afghan SIV’s in the memo line.)

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities or community sponsorship in support of our Afghan allies, please fill out this interest form. Finally, information for Afghan nationals about the resettlement efforts is available here. We thank everyone for offering their support as Episcopal Migration Ministries carries out this critical work.

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