KABUL (Pajhwok): US Federal immigration officials have issued denial letters to hundreds of Afghans seeking temporary entry into the country for humanitarian reasons in recent weeks, according to media reports on Friday.
By doing so, immigrant advocates say, the Biden administration has failed to honor its promise to help Afghans who were left behind after the US. military withdrew from the country in August and the Taliban took control.
Since the US withdrawal, US Citizenship and Immigration Services has received more than 35,000 applications for humanitarian parole, of which it has denied about 470 and conditionally approved more than 140, Victoria Palmer, an agency spokesperson, said this week.
The little-known program, which doesn’t provide a path to lawful permanent residence in the country, typically receives fewer than 2,000 requests annually from all nationalities, of which USCIS approves an average of about 500, she said.
Palmer also stressed humanitarian parole is generally reserved for extreme emergencies and not intended to replace the refugee admissions process, “which is the typical pathway for individuals outside of the United States who have fled their country of origin and are seeking protection.”
The US government, meanwhile, continues to help vulnerable Afghans, evacuating more than 900 American citizens and residents and another 2,200 Afghans since the military withdrawal.
The state department said it expects to help resettle as many as 95,000 people from Afghanistan this fiscal year, a process that includes rigorous background checks and vaccinations.