Coalition Offers Recommendations for Resolving Afghan Crisis
WASHINGTON, DC - Evacuate Our Allies (EOA) today released a report that analyzes the humanitarian record of the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and provides recommendations to the administration, Congress, and decision-makers on how to protect at-risk Afghans moving forward.
The report and its recommendations were discussed by a panel of experts and stakeholders convened online by EOA:
“Since the President first discussed the withdrawal of U.S. forces, we have been concerned with the human rights of Afghans who would be affected,” said Chris Purdy, Director of Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First, who moderated the event. “Veterans, resettlement agencies, advocates, and Afghan-Americans have spent a year trying to collaborate with the U.S. government to protect at-risk Afghans. We are speaking out today because more needs to be done to keep our promises to this threatened population.”
"We must do everything in our power to keep our promises to Afghans in the United States and abroad--which includes the urgent passage of an Afghan Adjustment Act and the creation of an interagency task force,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “We look forward to a future in which all are protected and welcomed through a robust, well-resourced, and functional resettlement system."
“When it comes to Afghanistan, this past year is one that has been lived in reverse. We’ve seen decades-worth of advances in Afghanistan undone in months, over half the Afghan population is on the verge of erasure, and the country is in the midst of unimaginable suffering and uncertainty,” says Joseph Azam, Board Chair of the Afghan-American Foundation and a member of EOA. “The list of broken American promises to the people of Afghanistan gets longer by the day. We need to do better.”
“The Afghan Adjustment Act will allow hundreds of thousands of Afghan parolees the opportunity to obtain their legal status without waiting for many years separated from their loved ones and living in legal immigration limbo, “ said Spojmie Nasiri, Board Member of the Afghan American Community Organization and member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Afghan Response Task Force. “Comprehensive immigration reform is needed and until that is done, the Afghan Adjustment Act is needed to allow Afghan parolees to obtain legal status in a sufficient manner that will avoid hindering their ability to adjust to life in the United States.”
“A veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, I understood that we made a commitment to our allies there,” said Hanna Tripp, Director of Remote Healthcare Operations at Afghan Medical Professionals Association of America. “We as a nation have a responsibility to live up to that promise, in part by providing real pathways to the safety of the United States for our Afghan friends and fairly and generously adjudicating their applications for asylum and other humanitarian protections.”
“As the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, the United States must do more to alleviate the dangers to at-risk Afghans,” said Camille Mackler, Senior Visiting Fellow on Immigration at the Truman Center for National Security and Executive Director of the Immigrant ARC. “The federal government, state and local governments, and philanthropy must also support groups rising to this challenge by providing financial and social support to those responding to the situation in Afghanistan and of Afghan refugees.”
“Integrating our Afghan allies will require an American commitment at the national and community level; it will require thoughtful planning and passion,” said Rebecca Fishman, Afghan Response Coordinator for Upwardly Global. “The skills and experience of this community are woefully needed in the U.S. labor market as employers continue to struggle to fill positions in key industries. We can and should be doing more to help our allies rebuild their lives in the United States.”