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One Year After U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, IRAP Reflects on Continued U.S. Obligations to At-Risk Afghans


August 30, 2022


Spencer Tilger |

One Year After U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, IRAP Reflects on Continued U.S. Obligations to At-Risk Afghans

IRAP Experts Available to Discuss

(New York, NY) – On August 30, 2021, the final U.S. military flight left Kabul airport, completing a chaotic evacuation process from Afghanistan. One year later, the United States has yet to fulfill its moral, congressional, and court-ordered obligations to protect Afghans who remain at risk, including Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program applicants. 

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) continues to advocate for at-risk Afghans through direct legal representation of SIV applicants, class action litigation, and policy recommendations, while supporting legislative efforts such as the Afghan Adjustment Act that would provide long-term stability for Afghan refugees temporarily paroled into the U.S. 

The following is a quote from IRAP Policy Director, Sunil Varghese:

“One year ago, the United States completed its military and diplomatic withdrawal from Afghanistan. For Afghans at risk from the Taliban, the end of the withdrawal also meant the end of large-scale evacuation efforts. Tens of thousands of Afghans who worked with the United States and their family members were left behind, as well as religious minorities, human rights activists, journalists, LGBTQ+ people, and other at-risk groups who are now being targeted. For those Afghans and the advocates working with them, the urgency of action has never ended. Over the past year, IRAP and our partners have continued to push the Biden administration to address backlogs and streamline processes that keep Afghans from reaching safety. On this somber anniversary, the U.S. government must recommit to fulfilling its promise to protect at-risk Afghans.”

Below, find key background resources on relevant legal and policy issues and bios of IRAP experts available for discussion and booking. 

Key Background and Upcoming 

  • Learn about the Afghan Adjustment Act, bipartisan legislation introduced in both the House and Senate this summer that would provide legal certainty for tens of thousands of Afghans who were temporarily paroled into the U.S. See HERE
  • Read about IRAP’s SIV lawsuit, Afghan & Iraqi Allies v. Blinken: HERE, including the U.S. government’s attempts to get out of their court-ordered obligation to U.S. allies HERE. A hearing in the case will be held in September.
  • Read a report by IRAP, InterAction, and Human Rights First about the options to make humanitarian pathways viable for at-risk Afghans: HERE 

The following IRAP experts will be available to discuss the one year anniversary of the Afghanistan withdrawal and related advocacy priorities:

  • Afghan resettlement, U.S. refugee program: Sunil Varghese, Policy Director (full bio here)
  • Afghan Adjustment Act, Special Immigrant Visas: Adam Bates, Supervisory Policy Counsel (full bio here)
  • Afghan Sponsor Circles: Elizabeth Foydel, Private Sponsorship Program Director (full bio here)
  • Afghan and Iraqi Allies v. Blinken litigation: Kathryn Austin, Senior Litigation Staff Attorney (full bio here)

To schedule an interview with any IRAP expert, email

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) develops and enforces a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.