(JustPatriots.com)- In a statement on Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it intends to waive immigration-related fees for up to 70,000 Afghans evacuated from Kabul during the bungled withdrawal in August.
According to CNN, under the new ruling, the Biden administration is exempting Afghans paroled into the US on or after July 30 from paying the $410 application fee for work authorization as well as the $1,225 application fee for green card permits.
In Monday’s statement, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas justified the administration’s decision to provide these unvetted Afghans “access to streamlined processing and fee exemptions.” According to Mayorkas, the Administration wants to help “our Afghan allies” “rebuild their lives in communities across our country more quickly.”
The administration’s decision to throw caution to the wind came after pressure from refugee advocates like Cathryn Miller-Wilson, the executive director of HIAS Pennsylvania. Back in September, Miller-Wilson told Business Insider that by lifting the fees to obtain a work permit and apply for a green card, these refugees can find work in the US much quicker as their asylum cases moves forward.
Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service said her refugee clients have expressed frustration with the bureaucratic inefficiencies in the process which prevent them from gaining timely employment.
Currently, about 51,000 Afghan refugees are housed at eight separate Defense Department sites throughout the United States. Since August 17, approximately 68,000 of these evacuated Afghans have been brought into the country. Over 14,000 have already been resettled in the United States.
However, very few of these 68,000 Afghan evacuees are, as Secretary Mayorkas claims, “our Afghan allies.”
While the US initially planned to evacuate those Afghans who assisted the US in its 20-year war, the majority of them remain stranded in Afghanistan. Who are the majority of evacuees loaded onto those planes in Kabul? We really don’t know.
And despite not knowing, despite being unable to adequately vet them, the Biden administration is rolling out the red carpet, waiving fees, and relocating them throughout the country.