The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the registration process for Operation Allies, a program that provides eligible Afghan nationals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Afghan refugees in the United States will be allowed to stay for at least 18 months under temporary protected status, the government said, a move that will help some of the thousands who arrived following the chaotic American withdrawal from their country.
Background Check & Time Constraints
The Afghans must already be in the U.S. and pass a background check to qualify for the program, which is intended to help thousands who were evacuated to the U.S. under a short-term status known as humanitarian parole as their country fell to the Taliban.
Many people, on the other hand, are running out of time because they have not yet obtained permanent residency through delayed programs such as the extraordinary visa, which is offered to those who worked as interpreters or in some other capacity for the United States and its allies during the 20-year war.
Temporary Protected Status
“This TPS designation will help to protect Afghan nationals who have already been living in the United States from returning to unsafe conditions,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement announcing the move.
The majority of them have now settled in communities around the United States, with the largest numbers moving to Northern Virginia and its surrounding Washington, DC area, Northern California, and Texas. Refugee advocates have been urging the Biden administration to grant Afghanistan temporary protected status so that Afghans will not be trapped without legal residency status when their two years of humanitarian parole runs out.
The temporary protected status, which enables non-citizens to legally work in the U.S., also benefits about 2,000 Afghans who were in the country as students or in some other capacity before the evacuation and have not left. Individuals who register for TPS will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will allow them to work in the United States during the TPS designation period.
The refugee advocates also have pressed Congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would grant the Afghans permanent residency and enable them to apply for U.S. citizenship, as was done for refugees in the past, including for people from Cuba, Vietnam and Iraq.