Jewish Federations of North America applaud the Afghan Adjustment Act that promises a pathway for permanent residence for Afghan refugees in the United States.
“The Afghan Adjustment Act affirms our country’s sacred commitment to our allies and our Jewish community calling to ‘welcome the stranger’ by ensuring that displaced Afghans who have worked alongside us can build lives in the United States without fear of lingering in legal limbo,” said Darcy Hirsh, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Jewish Federations of North America. “The act will ease the strain on displaced Afghans as well as our network of direct service provider agencies, ensuring they can focus their support on other pressing needs."
More than 70,000 Afghans were admitted to the United States as “humanitarian parolees” following the United States' military withdrawal from Afghanistan - a temporary status that does not confer lasting protection or a pathway to permanent residence. The Afghan Adjustment Act would allow eligible Afghans to apply for permanent status after one or two years of residence in the United States, and after clearing additional background checks. Currently, displaced Afghans resettled in the United States must apply for asylum or risk potentially facing deportation.
The Afghan Adjustment Act comes just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the launch of Operation Allies Welcome. The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI-3), Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO-6), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA).
Elana Broitman, SVP of Public Affairs at Jewish Federations of North America added, “We commend our elected leaders for working across the political spectrum to introduce this piece of legislation and we urge them to pass this legislation swiftly. We know that displaced Ukrainians who were also admitted through humanitarian parole will face a similar challenge in the future, and they too deserve a pathway to remain here insafety.”
Earlier this year, Jewish Federations partnered with the Shapiro Foundation to help Jewish human service agencies in their efforts to resettle Afghan refugees. The initiative supported Afghan resettlement in 15 communities across 12 states. Last month, Jewish Federations launched a $1 million initiative with the Shapiro Foundation to help resettle Ukrainian refugees, based on this same model.