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Biden Administration Extends Relief to Afghans in the US

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that they will allow Afghans who are currently in the U.S. to stay in the country under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a form of humanitarian relief. TPS applies to those who would face extreme hardship if they returned to their country of origin due to wars or natural disasters. TPS is limited to those who are already in the U.S.

The U.S. has already resettled more than 76,000 Afghans after they fled their country. Most of these individuals were allowed to stay in the U.S. on parole for a two-year period and receive work permits. They could be eligible for TPS if they don’t secure legal status before that two-year period expires. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated, “Under this designation, TPS will also provide additional protections and assurances to trusted partners and vulnerable Afghans who supported the U.S. military, diplomatic, and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.” Mayorkas cited the ongoing wars, economic collapses, and food and water crisis as reasons for the TPS designation.

To be eligible for TPS, the individual must have resided in the U.S. continuously as of March 15th. TPS designations will be in place for 18 months and may apply to Afghans who came to the U.S. before the evacuation occurred after the fall of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. USCIS is estimating that around 74,500 individuals in the U.S. would be eligible for TPS through this new designation of Afghanistan.

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