USCRI among 164-organization coalition to call for Afghanistan TPS Redesignation

By USCRI May 5, 2023

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) joined more than 160 other organizations calling on the Biden administration to immediately redesignate Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Temporary Protected Status extends work authorization and protection from removal for nationals of designated countries experiencing conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

“An extension and immediate redesignation of TPS for Afghanistan are necessary to safeguard vulnerable Afghans in the United States,” according to the letter drafted by USCRI, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the Afghan-American Foundation, and other members of the Evacuate Our Allies coalition.

The letter was signed by 164 international, national, state, and local organizations, including USCRI and USCRI partner agencies. It was addressed to President Biden, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Click here to read the full letter.

The request highlights deteriorating country conditions that justify a redesignation of Afghanistan for TPS, including “worsening insecurity and violence from the Taliban and various armed groups; an economic and humanitarian collapse exacerbated by drought and other threats to public health; and increased persecution through eroding social and political rights for women, girls, members of religious and ethnic minorities, and other segments of the Afghan population.”

A redesignation would extend protections to Afghans who have arrived in the United States since the initial TPS designation of Afghanistan in 2022—including some who have arrived at the Southern Border recently.

The current designation period of Afghanistan for TPS runs through November 20, 2023. By law, the Secretary of Homeland Security must review conditions in designated countries to determine if they continue to meet the conditions for a designation at least 60 days before the designation’s expiration.

USCRI and advocates are pushing the administration for the timely redesignation of TPS to offer more options for protections to newly arrived Afghans, particularly as parole periods granted under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) begin expiring in the summer.

“We are heartened that parole may be reportedly extended for evacuated Afghans and that members of Congress are working toward reintroduction of the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act,” USCRI President and CEO Eskinder Negash said. “TPS redesignation of Afghanistan is a timely and necessary step that the federal government can take to ensure continuous protections and work permits for Afghans.”

“As we approach two years since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, time is of the essence to ensure lasting protections to Afghan arrivals in the United States,” he added.

USCRI, founded in 1911, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization committed to working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and their transition to a dignified life.

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