RCUSA welcomes news of TPS for Afghanistan, urges Congress to pass an Afghan adjustment act, and calls for a more equitable designation process

Washington, DC – Refugee Council USA welcomes yesterday’s news that Afghanistan has been designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS status will mean that the approximately 7,500 Afghans who had already been in the US since before March 15, 2022 will be protected from deportation and have the opportunity to seek work authorization.

“Seven months after the Taliban wrested control of Kabul from the Afghan government, the US has finally designated Afghanistan for TPS” said John Slocum, RCUSA Executive Director. “We are grateful for this news, and the knowledge that a greater number of Afghans will have the time to find more lasting relief. While we celebrate this news, we must also consider how recent TPS designations fit within the United States’ sense of obligation to particular vulnerable communities. The rapidity of Ukraine’s designation, and today’s welcome news regarding Afghanistan, further illustrates that the hesitancy to designate other countries is simply a matter of political will. Frankly speaking, we have too often seen political will fall short when it comes to refugees and immigrants of African descent or from majority-Black countries. While we welcomed the announcement earlier this month that TPS will be extended for South Sudan – and re-designating Sudan for TPS as well – we look forward to the day when we can celebrate the announcement of TPS for Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mauritania, and others.

We further call on Congress to ensure that Afghan evacuees have an opportunity to apply to become lawful permanent residents by passing an Afghan adjustment act – and to hold the administration accountable to ongoing evacuations for vulnerable Afghans who have been left behind. They deserve no less.”

Media: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org

RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically.