Afghan contractors 'left in limbo' months after US pullout
Two months after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Afghans remain in limbo in the immigration application process.
These include those who qualify for Special Immigrant Visas who worked with the US military, P2 visa applicants for US-affiliated employees, Afghans at US military bases in Europe and the Middle East, and those who were fast-tracked into the US during the summer’s mass evacuation who do not have work permits.
“There are tens of thousands – and that’s a conservative estimate – of SIV applicants and their families, and thousands who got P2 referrals and other categories, who have been left behind,” Adam Bates, policy counsel for the International Refugee Assistance Project, a refugee advocacy group with around 500 Afghan clients, told The New Arab.
Although more than 120,000 Afghans left in a mass evacuation in August as the US withdrew its remaining forces, many others – particularly those outside of Kabul – did not make it out of Afghanistan. Moreover, many of those who did get out are still at military bases with no clear timeline for departure, and many of those who did make it to the US were paroled into the US and therefore do not have efficient pathways to green cards.
IRAP is asking Congress to pass an Afghan Adjustment Act, which would allow Afghan parolees to seek permanent residence. They are also calling for more transparency from the US government about the situations of the Afghan immigrant applicants, which they say is becoming more difficult with each passing day as they remain in limbo.