The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving forward with a "re-parole" process for Afghan nationals.
The DHS made the announcement on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
"Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new process that will enable Afghan nationals to renew their parole and continue to live and work in the United States," the announcement reads.
Here's the background:
Following the Biden administration's botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in August 2021, President Joe Biden resettled more than 86,000 Afghan nationals in communities across America.
The Biden administration has been criticized for its handling of the refugee program after DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, in November 2021, that about 70,000 of the Afghan nationals brought to America had not been interviewed beforehand, which is a violation of the usual vetting procedures.
This was confirmed in a 2022 DHS inspector general report.
Accordingly, there has been concern about whether or not dangerous individuals may have gained access to America.
Simone Ledeen, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, recently told Congress that some of those Afghans allowed into the United States were on the Department of Defense's watchlist for having been placers of improvised explosive devices.
Despite the lack of vetting and the accompanying concerns, the Biden administration is now moving forward with its re-parole program.
The DHS announcement reads:
The new process is streamlined and will be at no cost, and will provide for a two-year renewal of parole for qualifying individuals. This action is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to the safety, security, and well-being of the thousands of Afghan nationals who arrived in the United States through Operation Allies Welcome and Enduring Welcome.
Mayorkas released his own, personal statement on the matter, saying:
DHS is proud to have led Operation Allies Welcome and we are committed to supporting our Afghan allies as they continue to settle into their communities across the country. Through this new streamlined and fee-exempt process, eligible Afghan nationals will be able to continue living and working here as they pursue a permanent status.
The Biden administration, in fact, is encouraging Afghan nationals to seek out "a permanent status" here in the United States.
The DHS announcement reads, "Afghan nationals are encouraged to pursue a permanent status in the United States for which they may be eligible, including through the Special Immigrant and asylum processes."