Immigration News: August 9, 2022

NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy (Aug. 22, 2021) A U.S. Navy Sailor assists an Afghan evacuee at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Aug. 22, 2021. NAS Sigonella is currently supporting the Department of Defense mission to facilitate the safe departure and relocation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigration Visa recipients, and vulnerable Afghan populations from Afghanistan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel M. Young) 210822-N-NI474-1281

Today, bi-partisan groups of Senators and Representatives introduced an Afghan Adjustment Act in the House and Senate. Earlier versions, such as HR 3513,  introduced by Rep. Adam Kinzinger  in 2021, went nowhere.Today’s bill, with bi-partisan support, may move forward. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is among the lead sponsors of the bill. 

Jeremy McKinney, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), praised the bill in a press release:

“We applaud the bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives that has come together to offer legislation to protect the tens of thousands of individuals who fled Afghanistan after the U.S. departure led to a Taliban takeover. This includes those already here on humanitarian parole, those seeking Special Immigrant Visas or have P-1 or P-2 referrals for the U.S. Refugee Admissions program, as well as those Afghans who have assisted the U.S. mission and remain in peril in Afghanistan. This legislation would be a game-changer, allowing attorneys who are currently assisting in pulling together complex asylum cases to shift to a much more stream-lined process, help many more vulnerable people, and ensure that individuals are properly vetted. Failure to pass this bill would add significant strain to already overburdened asylum and immigration court systems.” 

The need for an Afghan Adjustment Act and for speeding up processing of visa applications by Afghan evacuees still waiting a year after the fall of Kabul is highlighted by the story of a family stranded in a shelter in the United Arab Emirates. 

[CBS] “Against seemingly insurmountable odds faced by other Afghans seeking U.S. entry, Fatima’s parents were granted special permission to enter the U.S. last year because of her father’s work in the Afghan presidential palace before the Taliban reconquered Afghanistan, government documents show.

“But the U.S. has yet to adjudicate the application filed on behalf of Fatima, who was born just 16 days after her parents’ petitions were approved. The 10-month wait has placed the family in legal and emotional limbo, testing their faith in the U.S. and its promise of providing refuge to vulnerable Afghans. …

“Mohammed, his wife and Fatima are among thousands of Afghan evacuees who have been stranded in third countries for months — and in many cases, for close to a year — anxiously waiting to find out whether the U.S. will agree to resettle them, even nearly a year after the fall of Kabul and the chaotic U.S. evacuations.” 

And in other news:

The editor-in-chief of The Atlantic describes the 30,000 word history of child separation published this week as “a narrative in which the relentless accretion of facts points us in a terrifying direction. It turns out that the story of the Trump administration’s child-separation policy is not simply a story of a consciously merciless program, implemented by consciously merciless men. It is the story of what happens when a bureaucracy is left to its own devices, when leaders abdicate their responsibilities, when American ideals are sacrificed on the altar of career advancement and self-preservation.” 

[The Atlantic] “Trump-administration officials insisted for a whole year that family separations weren’t happening. Finally, in the spring of 2018, they announced the implementation of a separation policy with great fanfare—as if one had not already been under way for months. Then they declared that separating families was not the goal of the policy, but an unfortunate result of prosecuting parents who crossed the border illegally with their children. Yet a mountain of evidence shows that this is explicitly false: Separating children was not just a side effect, but the intent. Instead of working to reunify families after parents were prosecuted, officials worked to keep them apart for longer.”

About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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