More than 90% of Afghans who have requested entry to the U.S. through the humanitarian parole process have been denied. Since July of 2021, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the USCIS, has received 46,000 applications from Afghan citizens who assisted the U.S in some way and would otherwise be in danger under the new Taliban government.
The majority of the applications for entry have been backlogged waiting to be processed. Data obtained by CBS news indicates that fewer than five thousand applications have been processed of which some 90% have been denied.
When the Afghan government collapsed in August of 2021, not all Afghan citizens who were eligible for resettlement were evacuated. These people who aided the U.S. in any part, would be in certain danger under the new Taliban governments. The parole system offers entry into the U.S. on urgent humanitarian grounds for those without visas.
Parole is a term to explain how certain noncitizens can be allowed temporary entry or to remain in the United States for a specific reason. The program from the Immigration and Nationality Act gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to determine who may be granted permission to stay in the US or enter the US.
Parole allows those who may not have a legal reason to come to the US or they are normally inadmissible. It is only granted if it is determined that there is significant benefit to the public to allow parole or for urgent humanitarian reasons.
Parole is only granted for a limited time. The person is expected to leave the US when that time expires. They aren’t admitted into the US in the same way as if they had a visa.
Afghan refugees are being admitted with humanitarian parole. They meet the first of the following criteria for this type of parole:
- For protection from individual or targeted harm
- To attend a funeral or to settle the affairs of a deceased family member who lived in the US
- Caring for or visiting a sick family member in the US
- Becoming an organ donor to a person in the US
- To receive critical medical treatment
These are examples of humanitarian parole, but other situations may also be classified in this category.
Parole for significant benefit to the public often means the person will be testifying in a civil or criminal legal proceeding. They cannot obtain entry in another way but are a key witness.
How the Parole Process Works
Parole applications are reviewed individually. The applicant must provide proof that the parole should be granted. The agency granting the parole will specify the duration of their visit. Applicants who are approved and come to the US on parole may continue the immigration process to remain in the US long-term.
The application may be submitted by the individual or someone else on their behalf. The DHS may consider someone with financial support more favorably or deny someone who lacks support.