DHS Allows Afghan Nationals Temporary Entry into US

The withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan has led to a complete takeover by the Taliban. Tens of thousands of Afghan nationals have been evacuated from Kabul amid the turmoil. While some of these people are in the middle of the immigration process, others have yet to apply to live in the United States. 

On August 26, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wrote a memo to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), directing the agency to “parole” certain evacuees into the U.S. based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons for a temporary period, on a case-by-case basis. Although parole does not offer a pathway to permanent residency or the ability to gain lawful immigration status, the move will allow Afghan nationals to stay in the country for two years after security vetting. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will work with other federal agencies to provide relocated Afghans with medical care and sufficient support to ensure they successfully resettle in the U.S. Prior to the rapid takeover by the Taliban, the Biden administration tried to expedite visa processing for eligible Afghan nationals. 

Once CBP paroles Afghan nationals, they may be eligible to apply for status in the U.S. through USCIS or another agency. Common conditions associated with parole include medical screening and reporting requirements. Failure to follow the conditions may result in detention and deportation. 

Essentially, parole allows the United States to admit foreign nationals, but does not give them certain services granted to refugees, such as assistance with employment, housing, and support from refugee resettlement agencies. In addition, it is legally challenging to convert individuals in the U.S. with parole status to refugee status because refugee applicants are generally still overseas. 

If you or a loved one is an Afghan national who is interested in resettling in Illinois, Arizona, or Texas, call Gambacorta Law today at (847) 443-9303 or fill out our online contact form to learn how our firm can help you and your family.