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FOIA: State Department Processing of Afghan Refugee, SIV, and Humanitarian Parole Applications

On August 2, 2022, a year after the State Department created a new refugee program for U.S.-affiliated Afghans, IRAP, represented by Hogan Lovells, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeking records from the State Department about processing of Afghan refugee, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), and humanitarian parole applications. Following the State Department announcement last year, over ten thousand Afghans were referred to the new program. However, reporting from earlier this year suggests that only a small fraction of cases completed initial State Department processing, and the State Department has provided little public information about the program. Afghans navigating the SIV and humanitarian parole processes face similar challenges and gaps in information, and this lawsuit seeks records that will shed light on delays that leave tens of thousands of U.S.-affiliated Afghans in harm’s way.

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