WASHINGTON, D.C. — Upwardly Global, a leading workforce-development organization supporting professional immigrants and refugees, reaffirms its support for the Afghan Adjustment Act, a critical, bipartisan bill that would help expedite pathways to permanent legal status for Afghan newcomers, expand eligibility requirements for the Special Immigrant Visa program, and create a new interagency task force to help relocate at-risk allies left behind in Afghanistan. Originally introduced in August 2022, the legislation has just been reintroduced with bipartisan support in both the Senate (S.2327) and House of Representatives (H.R.4627).
“Afghan evacuees deserve access to a permanent immigration status with a clear pathway to citizenship, not just a temporary fix that future presidents can take away at any moment. The Afghan Adjustment Act would provide them with a secure legal status and support the inclusion of Afghan professionals into the U.S. workforce during this crucial period of economic recovery. It is a clear opportunity for the United States to honor its commitment to our Afghan allies. Upwardly Global proudly supports the reintroduction and approval of the Afghan Adjustment Act in Congress,” stated Jina Krause-Vilmar, President and CEO of Upwardly Global.
Nearly 90,000 Afghan refugee newcomers entered the U.S. through Operations Allies Welcome, a relief effort launched under the Biden administration to help Afghans that were displaced beginning in August 2021. This effort has both humanitarian roots and promises to be a significant boon to the U.S. economy at a time of critical workforce need, with labor shortages in many essential sectors.
Upwardly Global continues to elevate success stories of Afghan newcomers who have secured professional employment and to highlight the professional experience and projected economic contributions of this group. Recent data from Upwardly Global shows that Afghan newcomers have the potential to generate $1.71 billion in annual earnings and $227 million in annual tax revenue if adequate career pathways are available. Afghan newcomers bring valuable expertise in high-demand industries like information technology; finance; healthcare; and business, logistics, and operations.
The Afghan Adjustment Act would prevent lapses in immigration status and work authorization by guaranteeing a pathway for these individuals to legally live and work in the U.S. Additionally, the Afghan Adjustment Act would help lessen the burden on the U.S. immigration system and streamline a pathway to citizenship.
Through Upwardly Global’s Career Coaching Program, we have been working with over 1,500 Afghan professionals across the U.S. to rebuild their careers and find skill-aligned work. To date, we have helped over 525 of these individuals secure full-time and skill-aligned employment.
About Upwardly Global
Upwardly Global is the first and longest-serving organization dedicated to advancing the inclusion of immigrant and refugee professionals into the U.S. workforce. We have long been committed to supporting Afghan refugees, having built out a national program incorporating our experience serving several hundred Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa recipients over the past decade.