I write to request your immediate support for the Afghan people through emergency humanitarian aid allocation and oversight and necessary immigrant and refugee policy action. We ask that you urge the State Department and Secretary Blinken to do the following immediately:
I: Protection of At-Risk Individuals Still in Afghanistan
- The U.S. State Department must provide a clear plan for evacuating U.S. Citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, SIV holders, and the immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens that still wish to depart Afghanistan.
- The U.S. State Department and allies must negotiate a humanitarian corridor for vulnerable Afghans who do not have special status to seek refuge in a safe third country, and expand and expedite the processing of P1, P2, and P3 refugees.
- The U.S. State Department must negotiate with the Taliban to ensure the Hamid Karzai International Airport remains open and operational to military and commercial flights to and from NATO nations and other neighboring countries.
- USCIS must waive fees and offer expedited processing for Afghan beneficiaries of family-sponsored visas, SIV applications, and Humanitarian Parole petitions.
- President Biden must issue an immediate executive order bypassing consular processing requirements for individuals applying for visas and Humanitarian Parole from inside Afghanistan, as it will be nearly impossible for beneficiaries to access a U.S. Consulate.
- USCIS must issue executive guidance lowering the threshold for Humanitarian Parole approval for all Afghans in this region, but especially women and girls, journalists, activists, religious and ethnic minorities, and those at risk due to their U.S. connections.
II: Protection and Provision for At-Risk Afghans in the U.S. and Third Countries
- The Department of Homeland Security must immediately designate Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- The U.S. Congress must raise the cap on annual refugee admissions.
- Reunite unaccompanied minors with their families whenever possible and ensure culturally sensitive placement is prioritized when reunification is not possible.
- The U.S. Congress must allocate an additional humanitarian aid package to meet the considerable needs of U.S. Refugee Resettlement Agencies and other NGOs assisting Afghans to reach safety and resettle in the U.S.
The US has a moral responsibility to do everything it can to mitigate the humanitarian consequences of its withdrawal from the country.
Thank you for your time and consideration,