How and where our new – and future - neighbors need your help.
Beyond donating, we need your voices. Act with us to create an inclusive community of well-being where people thrive. You, like us, are motivated by a belief in the inherent dignity of all humans. Continue to advance equity, inclusion, and social justice with LSSNCA.
While safely evacuated from Afghanistan, the humanitarian parole status thousands of Afghans received does not provide a way for them to apply for legal permanent residency. They’re stuck in immigration limbo. The Biden Administration recently designated an 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghans, which includes those with parole status, but at the end of 18 months, what will happen? TPS does not create a path to legal residency; it just blocks deportation during the designated time period. Further, the TPS registration period hasn’t even started yet.
Right now, tens of thousands of Afghan Allies have less than three months to file for asylum; yet waits for pro bono immigration attorneys average six months. Individuals have one year from arrival in the U.S. to apply for asylum, and without a pathway to citizenship this is now their only option. When Allies do apply, they will be pushed to the back of the line, behind hundreds of thousands of other applications regardless if they were eligible for a Special Immigration Visa (SIV), which provides a path to U.S. citizenship, or not. Offer legal assistance now!
Encourage your senators and representatives to support Afghan Adjustment language to ensure a way to apply for legal immigration status for permanent residency in the United States.
The Biden Administration issued Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians living in the United States, as of March 1, 2022, providing an 18-month block from deportation. Let’s make sure Ukrainian students who have been studying in the states are supported too. Call for the extension of Special Student Relief (SSR) to allow eligible students to be relieved of minimum class credit hours and work restrictions attached to their F-1 student visas. Due to the conflict, students and their parents are facing economic hardships, and under the current visa requirements, students will not be able to seek employment to help pay for their tuition and other essential needs.
Students may also struggle with covering the fees to even apply for TPS ($200-$500) and SSR ($410). The Special Student Relief (SSR) designation will ease these restrictions for eligible Ukrainian students.
Title 42 continues to be in the news despite the Biden Administration and CDC announcing it will be repealed by May 23, 2022. Title 42 removes adults seeking asylum in the United States and sends them to Mexico or the country they are fleeing after filing for asylum, and soon even after passing a credible fear interview, while they await adjudication. The policy is a holdover from the Trump Administration preventing at-risk individuals from seeking asylum safely and lawfully in the U.S. and puts their lives in peril. Title 42 supporters claim this is on public health grounds (i.e., COVID-19). There are now members of Congress who want to add an amendment to the COVID-19 relief bill ensuring Title 42 continues. Title 42 has been challenged in court several times over its unlawfulness. With the easing of COVID restrictions nationally, and an increase in vaccinations available at the U.S. border crossings, this unfounded policy should not be allowed to continue.
Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)
You may recognize the more common term for the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), “Remain in Mexico.” The Remain in Mexico program removes people who are seeking asylum in the United States and expels them to Mexico. The policy is a Trump Administration holdover that causes more harm by denying vulnerable individuals the right to stay in the U.S. while awaiting their asylum approval. Individuals are sent back from the U.S. to wait in Mexico while their asylum request is processed and reviewed by an immigration judge. This can take years. LSSNCA has worked with dozens of individuals who languished in these border towns as they were subjected to physical and sexual violence, kidnaped for ransom, and other dangerous, and often racially motivated, assaults. Rather than providing a safe haven and starting to ease post-traumatic stress the Remain in Mexico program only incites it further, and creates more traumas and mental health setbacks. Remain in Mexico has rightfully been challenged in court over its legality under international law as the U.S. is a signatory of the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, and U.S. laws such as the Immigration and Nationality Act which lays out the fair process due while immigration cases are adjudicated.