U.S shielding Afghans already in the country from deportation

Mar 16, 2022: According to a report by the AFP, Afghan citizens living in the U.S with expired visas will be given temporary protected status for 18 months due to precarious conditions in their country, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday.

The department of Homeland Security said Afghans face reduced security and deteriorated living conditions since the Taliban seized power last August.

“This TPS designation will help to protect Afghan nationals who have already been living in the United States from returning to unsafe conditions,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The statement from the department cited “a collapsing public sector, a worsening economic crisis, drought, food and water insecurity, lack of access to health care, internal displacement, human rights abuses and repression by the Taliban, destruction of infrastructure, and increasing criminality.”

In addition to a deteriorating humanitarian crisis, the department referred to continuing attacks on civilians by Islamic State-Khorasan, the Afghan arm of the extremist Islamic State group.

With tens of thousands of Afghans having fled the country last year after US and coalition forces fled the country and the Taliban took control after 20 years of fighting, it is not clear whom the TPS applies to.

Many arrived in the United States for resettlement under the Special Immigrant Visa Program, but some face delays in verifying their status. Other Afghans who may qualify for TPS may already be in the United States but have not been granted permanent status or are unable to return home.

Temporary protection status will only apply to Afghans in the United States on or before March 15, 2022. When political turmoil or natural disasters strike their country and it is difficult to return, TPS is often extended to citizens of other countries coming to the United States.

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