FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USAHello helps Afghans navigate complex immigration system
Tens of thousands of Afghans in the U.S. lack a straightforward pathway to permanent protection. USAHello now offers a practical, plain language guide to ensure Afghans can navigate options.
USAHello releases a new Afghan status guide (also in Dari/Pashto) as part of its virtual Afghan Resource Center. The comprehensive online hub of professionally translated resources aims to help Afghans access key information to navigate US systems. The new adjustment guide breaks down complex information into plain language that helps Afghans understand their options and connect to the local legal resources they need to protect their status.
The vast majority of Afghans evacuated to the United States entered the country on temporary humanitarian parole. Despite talk of an unwavering commitment to protecting Afghans, the Afghan Adjustment Act – a bill designed to fast track permanent residency for Afghans who came through Operation Allies Welcome – has languished in Washington. What is left is a tangled web of bureaucracy that is proving challenging to navigate, even for legal experts.
Many of the 76,000+ Afghans who arrived in the first months of the evacuation are now in various stages of the Special Immigrant Visa process (historically marred by slowdowns), while others who do not meet that program’s eligibility are left with an even more difficult path forward through the asylum process.
Immigration service providers on the ground report that many Afghans they are working with are unaware that their current status is temporary and that they have a limited window of time to take action. Early optimism about a forthcoming Adjustment Act slowed initial outreach efforts and now that Afghans are dispersed in communities across the country, access to information is a major hurdle.
Too often the communities directly impacted by policy decisions are the last to gain access to the information and resources they need to act. What people do have access to are smartphones – and they’re turning to the internet for answers.
Online misinformation is a major issue and immigrant communities, often with limited access to first language content and relying heavily on word of mouth information sharing, are among the most vulnerable. Beyond basic translations, the complicated technical language of our policy and legal systems creates a huge barrier.
USAHello is stepping in to fill the information gap for Afghans. ____________________________________________________________
USAHello is a non-profit organization providing services to over 1.7 million immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers annually, including:
- Online Information Hub: 100’s of multilingual resources pages
- FindHello: free app developed with UNHCR to connect newcomers to services nationwide
- Online Classroom: free citizenship and GED prep classes
Please consider USAHello as a source for any future stories regarding the Afghan Adjustment Act or other legal measures to help the status of Afghans in the USA.
Sarah Ivory | USAHello US President