Soon after the U.S. government’s hasty and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, the United States received over 80,000 Afghan evacuees, many of whom were at added risk due to their association with the U.S. government during the two-decade war. Ninety percent of these migrants entered the country on humanitarian parole (HP), which allows them to live and work in the U.S. for two years, but does not provide a path to permanent residency, leaving them in legal limbo. The Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA), would allow Afghans with humanitarian parole to apply for permanent legal status and would expand the categories of Afghans eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs).
In her latest quarterly message, GCIR president Marissa Tirona lays out what is at stake for DACA recipients as the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considers deeming DACA unlawful, a decision that would leave nearly 700,000 of our DACAmented families, neighbors, and friends unable to legally work and at risk of deportation. Marissa also shares what immigrant justice advocates are doing to protect and defend DACA at this critical juncture, and explains how philanthropy can help fight both to protect DACA and to ensure we are prepared for its possible end.
When I began writing this blog post, I was asked “what do you want readers to take away from it?” Immediately I knew my answer: Undocumented people have the right to be in positions of power, to be compensated fairly for their labor, and to be valued for the expertise they bring to the table. Undocumented people deserve much more than we’ve given them.