The Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) introduced right this moment that Afghans in the USA at the moment are eligible for non permanent protected standing (TPS), an immigration safety that shields folks from deportation and permits them to work within the U.S. legally for the following 18 months.
“This TPS designation will assist to guard Afghan nationals who’ve already been residing in the USA from returning to unsafe situations,” mentioned Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Beneath this designation, TPS may also present further protections and assurances to trusted companions and weak Afghans who supported the U.S. army, diplomatic, and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan during the last 20 years.”
The designation pertains most on to the 76,000 Afghans who had been resettled within the U.S. after the American army withdrawal from Afghanistan final 12 months. They entered the nation underneath parole, a short lived classification that doesn’t contain a pathway to citizenship or everlasting residency. Although TPS can also be a short lived designation, it prevents deportation within the occasion that an asylum declare is rejected.
The DHS could designate a rustic for TPS whether it is going through situations “that briefly stop the nation’s nationals from returning safely, or in sure circumstances, the place the nation is unable to deal with the return of its nationals adequately.” Grounds for a TPS designation could contain “ongoing armed battle,” “an environmental catastrophe,” or “different extraordinary and non permanent situations.” TPS is restricted to Afghans who had been already within the U.S. as of March 15, and people convicted of sure crimes are ineligible.
The scenario in Afghanistan has deteriorated drastically for the reason that nation fell to the Taliban in August 2021. Ladies are barred from pursuing greater training and careers, meals insecurity and malnutrition threaten thousands and thousands, and the nation is getting ready to financial collapse. Afghans who assisted U.S. troops as interpreters, engineers, and in different key roles have at all times been at distinctive threat of Taliban persecution—one thing Mayorkas rightly harassed within the TPS announcement.
It is nice information that the Biden administration is taking steps to guard Afghans from deportation to their ailing nation, however it’s unclear why it took till now for officers to supply the TPS designation. Immigration advocates have been pressuring the administration to take action for the reason that nation fell to the Taliban. The Hill reported final month that Biden was weighing the designation for Afghans, together with a number of different nations. And earlier this month, Mayorkas added Ukraine to the record of TPS-eligible nations.
Many politicians and immigration advocacy teams will now set their sights on securing a pathway to lawful everlasting residence and citizenship for resettled Afghans. Roughly half of all evacuees should not have a clear authorized pathway to everlasting residency, leaving their future within the U.S. ambiguous until Congress acts or they obtain asylum. Whereas the TPS designation is a vital recognition that Afghans might face hurt if pressured to return dwelling, extra should be performed to guard their potential to dwell within the U.S.