Saturday, November 26, 2022

US revises policy on transfer of Afghans to America

According to a senior administration official, US President Joe Biden’s administration has – with few exceptions – halted the temporary relocation of Afghans to the US and focused on reuniting immediate families along a path to permanent residence.

The policy revision comes after some members of Congress, refugee organizations and veterans’ groups criticized the US government for failing to properly plan the evacuation process for Afghans who risk retaliation by the Taliban. Withdrew its last military force from Afghanistan. Earlier

The government said the chaotic evacuation at Kabul airport and a suicide bombing that killed 13 US service members and more than 170 Afghans were a success, bringing about 90,000 Afghans to the US in one of the largest US evacuation operations went.

“The US administration’s commitment to our Afghan ally continues,” a senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday about the transfer policy change. “That commitment will never stop.”

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The policy revision, known as the “Permanent Welcome” policy, will start from October 1, 2022.

Through the changes, he said, the United States will stop – with few exceptions – from accepting Afghans on humanitarian grounds under a special program that gives temporary entry but without a path to legal permanent residence.

The policy amendments will focus on relocating to the US immediate family members of Afghans who are already US citizens, green card holders (permanent residents) and special immigration visa (SIV) holders who are threatened with retaliation from the Taliban. Is given. To work for the US government..

The official added that family members accepted from these categories will have “prolonged long-term immigration status”, allowing them to “adapt and integrate more quickly into their new community”.

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“We know that family reunification remains a very high priority for the Afghans themselves and for the communities that care about them and for activists across the country, including veterans groups,” he said. They said. “That’s also our priority.”

The policy revision comes after months of talks between the government and the Afghan coalition, which helps evacuate and relocate Afghans to the United States.

“This is a big decision for us,” Coalition president Sean VanDiver said. However, he still believes that the government needs to increase the processing of SIV applications and increase the number of transfer flights. [rd/jm]

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