Some Afghan citizens are allowed to enter the United States without a visa, a senior Biden administration official said Tuesday.
Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas has allowed Afghans to “humanitarian parole” without visas, allowing this extraordinary arrangement, officials said.
This designation is granted to foreigners “for urgent humanitarian reasons or in the public interest” in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Some Afghans have been granted special immigrant visas (SIVs) before being sent to the United States, DHS officials told reporters by phone.
“In another example, the Secretary of Homeland Security has the ability to impose specific parole conditions on those arriving to ensure that those arriving here clearly have the proper legal status. I am using his parole authority, including, “said officials.
Parole is granted to Afghans who have applied for SIV but have not yet been granted a visa. Officials declined when asked if parole was being used by people who had not applied for SIV.
“But that authority, or parole, is the authority to provide some flexibility to individuals without relevant legal status, and where appropriate, people have passed the security checks mentioned above. … One of the things that people are involved in here when they enter the United States, ”said officials.
Officials say all Afghanistan being sent to the United States are being screened.
The DHS and the Department of State did not respond to requests for more information.
After the Taliban took over Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans fled Kabul’s US-owned airport to third countries, including Germany, before landing in the United States.
Many have obtained SIV for assisting the United States during their 20-year mission in the United States. Others are considered vulnerable to Taliban persecution if they remain in their hometown.
By March, nearly 100,000 people from Iraq and Afghanistan had been granted SIV. It is not clear how many visas remain under the program, which was expanded twice by Congress during the last year. Military authorities are preparing space at four bases to temporarily accommodate 25,000 Afghans.
According to historian Amanda Demar, the United States has used the same parole authority in the past, releasing 130,000 Vietnamese in April 1975.
“Parole does not grant visa / immigration status, which needs to be sorted out later,” she wrote on Twitter.
A group of 46 senators, primarily Democrats, asked Mallorcus and Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week (pdf) Created a humanitarian parole category for female leaders, activists, judges, etc. in Afghanistan and “streamlined the paperwork process to facilitate referrals and quickly, humanely and efficiently relocate to the United States. To enable. “
The International Refugee Assistance Project for Immigrants recommended in April that the Biden administration used a “massive parole” to accept a huge number of Afghans. “
However, some are calling for a reduction in the number of Afghans brought to the United States, such as through parole.
Neira Rush, Principal Researcher at the Center for Immigration Studies, said: Blog post on Tuesday.