In August 2021, as the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was underway, Afghans scrambled to equip themselves and their loved ones with immigration resources that the U.S. government failed to provide. For many, that included basic information about the immigration pathways that exist for those who have been displaced and refugees whose situations suddenly became more urgent.
Because most efforts related to Afghans are focused on U.S.-allied or U.S.-affiliated individuals, the Afghans leading this project saw a direct and urgent need to file U.S. humanitarian parole applications as their only option to ensure the safety of their loved ones. For many Afghans, humanitarian parole is one of the potentially fastest pathways to the United States and the only option for many Afghans.
To that end, Afghan organizers created Project ANAR (Afghan Network for Advocacy and Resources), a partnership with Pangea Legal Services, Centro Legal de la Raza, and Afghan community organizers from the Afghan Diaspora for Equality & Progress, to process hundreds of Afghan humanitarian parole requests. As you’ve seen on the news, the situation on the ground is chaotic and extremely dangerous.
Our legal and community partners also include:
- Afghan Diaspora for Equality & Progress
- Berkeley Law for Afghanistan Project
- South Asian Resource Action Center
- Innovation Law Labs
- PARS Equality Center
- Oasis Legal Services
- Ta’leef Collective
- Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
What is Humanitarian Parole?
Humanitarian Parole is a pathway for entry to the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons. It is usually granted when someone has no other alternatives for entry. It’s essentially a temporary permission to come to the United States, on a humanitarian basis, and stay for up to one year (as granted at USCIS discretion). For many of our families, that permission could allow time for their other pending SIV and P-2 visas to be processed. For some, it may be one of their only pathways to rapid safety. Typically, Humanitarian Parole applications are processed quicker than permanent status visas.
Humanitarian Parole is also important as a strategy because it might allow families to leave harm’s way more quickly and also provide them with papers that would count as “onward travel” confirmation, which helps with evacuation efforts. Currently there are evacuation limitations for people with no documents and few countries still willing to take refugees. Humanitarian Parole could provide many families with an important missing stepping stone in their efforts to flee to safety.
Ways You Can Help
- Donate! Donations cover humanitarian parole filing fees ($575/each), paralegals, and legal coordinators.
- Become a volunteer sponsor! This is open to US Citizens and Green Card Holders. There is no enforceable ability for wages to be garnished like a permanent status immigration sponsorship. But it does require submission of a tax return to prove you have means at about 125% of the poverty rate, based on the number of people in your household. If anyone has access to a mosque, church group, book club, or workplace social responsibility program or some other kind of community of people who care, they could be transformative change agents in this effort. Bonus points if volunteer sponsors are Muslims who understand the cultural specifics more readily.
- Become a volunteer lawyer! If you or someone you know is an attorney, please consider providing pro bono hours. Training is provided.
To learn more, visit projectanar.org and keep up to date with our project on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@projectanar).