FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2021
IRAP PUBLISHES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMMEDIATE ACTIONS TO PROTECT AFGHAN CIVILIANS IN LIGHT OF U.S. WITHDRAWAL
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) published a paper recommending five actions the U.S. government should take to protect Afghans at risk of attacks from the Taliban in the wake of U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan. The paper outlines the following short- and long-term strategies that should be implemented immediately and in tandem to protect Afghan lives:
- Large-scale evacuations of at-risk Afghans, including airlifts to U.S. military bases or directly to the United States;
- Diplomatic efforts with partner countries to increase protections for Afghans;
- Large-scale parole processing and access to asylum or immigration processing from within the United States;
- Expedited processing of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applications; and
- Expanding the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to grant more access to Afghan refugees.
Americans support the protection of Afghans at risk: a recent YouGov poll commissioned by More in Common shows that Americans overwhelmingly favor giving refugee status to Afghans who aided the United States, and a recent Change.org petition to grant parole to an Afghan family has garnered over 120,000 signatures to date. Veterans and national security experts are calling on the Administration to begin evacuation proceedings.
“Time is running out for the U.S. government to offer humanitarian protection to Afghans whose lives will be under threat after U.S. withdrawal,” said Adam Bates, IRAP’s Policy Counsel. “The United States must act now to protect vulnerable Afghans or risk a humanitarian catastrophe in the region. Speeding up and expanding existing pathways to safety is vital, but must be accompanied by immediate relocations of the most at-risk individuals to meet the current emergency situation. President Biden should use all his power to protect these Afghan civilians.”
IRAP calls on the Administration to put in place plans and resources to immediately evacuate the most at-risk Afghans and create the infrastructure needed to protect Afghan civilians during and after the withdrawal of troops.
To view the options paper, click here.
To view the press release, click here.