We must quickly pivot to integrating newcomers into the country
Washington, DC – Today, Upwardly Global, a leading national workforce organization dedicated to integrating immigrants and refugees into the U.S. workforce, is calling for expedited processing to service the needs of Special Immigration Visas (SIVs) holders and allies due to the continued withdrawal of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan where there Taliban have quickly claimed territory and retribution against pro-U.S. forces and their Afghan allies is feared.
Upwardly Global is a key organization working directly with Afghans, including those who supported U.S. troops as translators, engineers, embassy clerks, and whose safety is at risk. These individuals and their families come to the U.S. on a Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). Upwardly Global has worked with over 1,900 SIVs to integrate their talents into the workforce and return to their careers, and 115 of our active job seekers today are SIVs.
“We are shocked and saddened by the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. For two decades, our Afghan allies have supported our efforts abroad. Now, we must support these same people as they flee grave danger and are faced with the reality of rebuilding lives and careers in a new country,” said Jina Krause-Vilmar, CEO of Upwardly Global. “Having served nearly two thousand SIV holders over the years in rebuilding careers in engineering, healthcare, non-profit, and technology sectors, we know first hand that, upon arrival in the U.S., this population will be an immense asset to our society and economy.”
Upwardly Global estimates that there are some 80,000 Afghans and their families still inside the country who supported the U.S. military, allies, and humanitarian organizations. While nations across the globe are receiving some of these individuals, Upwardly Global is advocating for expedited integration into the U.S. workforce through connections with job search programs, professional ESL support, re/upskilling training and work-based learning opportunities. Upwardly Global is also advocating for needed resources for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to allow quick processing of work authorization.
Upwardly Global recognizes the Biden Administration’s pledge to offer 8,000 additional SIV visas to at-risk allies, and continues monitoring the flow and process for SIVs entering into the U.S. With partners, Upwardly Global is working to build a direct referral pipeline to its services to ensure a fast-track to rebuild their lives and highlight their manifold contributions.
Jina Krause-Vilmar is available for interviews upon request.
Upwardly Global is a national nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate employment barriers for immigrant and refugee professionals, and advance the inclusion of their skills into the U.S. economy.