DHS Gives Temporary Protected Status to Afghans in US

(PresidentialWire.com)- Afghans who fled their home country when the Taliban took over last summer will be offered temporary protected status, or TPS, by the Biden administration.

Those people all escaped Afghanistan as part of the American effort to evacuate the country. If they didn’t receive TPS, they could’ve faced deportation from the U.S. as early as August.

Now, any Afghan who was in America legally as of March 15 are allowed to remain here for 18 more months.

In a release announcing this move, Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security, said:

“This TPS designation will help to protect Afghan nationals who have already been living in the United States from returning to unsafe conditions.

“Under this designation, TPS will also provide additional protections and assurances to trusted partners and vulnerable Afghans who supported the U.S. military, diplomatic and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.”

Several thousand people from Afghanistan will be aided by this move, including any person who is here on a student visa.

Primarily, though, the TPS designation will aid the 76,000 Afghans who left their home country as part of the chaotic, hectic and sloppy evacuation. These people were able to enter the U.S. under what’s known as humanitarian parole. That process allows the federal government to waive some requirements for immigration on a temporary basis for crises.

Initially, some Afghans were given just one year to regularize their immigration status in America, which would have forced them to try to find a legal pathway to stay in America by the end of this August.

Since the armed conflict is continuing in Afghanistan, DHS said it was imperative to give these people extra time to stay here. The agency also cited “a collapsing public sector, a worsening economic crisis, drought, food and water insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, internal displacement, human rights abuses and repression by the Taliban, destruction of infrastructure, and increasing criminality” as reasons for offering the TPS.

This didn’t come easy for Afghans, though. Some had been fighting for months for TPS, while Ukrainians were offered it only a few days after Russia invaded their country.

And while the TPS buys the Afghans some extra time, it doesn’t provide an exact pathway to remaining in the U.S. forever. It’s only temporary, after all, and will expire in August of 2023 unless it is extended yet again.

Many refugee and immigration groups are calling for a permanent change in the law to allow these Afghan people to remain here permanently, without all the typical hoops they’d need to jump through.

At the same time, the Biden administration is being criticized for not doing enough for Afghans that have had to remain in their country because they didn’t qualify for the refugee program. That program was set up to assist people who aided the U.S. military and government during the 20 years America had a presence there.