Action provides relief, but Upwardly Global urges passage of Afghan Adjustment Act as Afghan refugees remain in limbo
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Upwardly Global applauds the Biden Administration’s recent announcement that extends a temporary fix allowing Afghan refugees to legally live and work in the United States.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the action will give over 80,000 Afghans who fled Afghanistan in 2021 the opportunity to reapply for Temporary Protected Status. The requests will be reviewed on a “case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons and significant public benefit.”
This move follows Congress’ inability to advance the proposed Afghan Adjustment Act, which Upwardly Global has continuously called for. The act would provide Afghan refugees with a path to permanent legal status in the U.S.
Reacting to the Biden Administration’s plans, Jina Krause-Vilmar, CEO and President of Upwardly Global, issued the following statement:
“With this executive action, President Biden has provided much-needed relief to the tens of thousands of Afghan refugees currently living in the United States who are at risk of losing their legal status and work authorization when their Temporary Protected Status expires in August.
“But temporary relief, subject to the political whims of the next president, is not relief at all. These Afghan refugees remain in limbo, making it more difficult for them to find permanent housing or employment.
“Congress must take action and pass the Afghan Adjustment Act. We simply cannot afford to lose the contributions and potential of Afghan newcomers, who bring critical value to our economy and society.
“The Afghan Adjustment Act is a vital piece of legislation that will provide a pathway to permanent status for Afghan refugees and ensure that they can continue to contribute their skills and talents in the U.S. while we live up to our commitments to them.”
Upwardly Global’s research has found that the displacement of this community could cost the U.S. economy more than $1.7 billion in potential earnings as over 41,000 Afghan refugees are of working age and over 10,000 have some level of college education and professional experience.
About Upwardly Global
Upwardly Global’s mission is to eliminate employment barriers for low-income immigrant and refugee professionals and to advance their inclusion into the U.S. economy. Since 2000, Upwardly Global has empowered unemployed or underemployed newcomers with the skills, career coaching, and social capital needed to rebuild their lives and careers. Learn more at UpwardlyGlobal.org.