As the one-year anniversary of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul approaches, several evangelical leaders sent a letter to Congress, urging members to pass legislation that would allow Afghans who were evacuated and paroled into the United States to apply for permanent legal status.
NAE President Walter Kim signed the letter and said, “Evangelical Christians and churches have helped resettle our Afghan allies whose lives were threatened by the Taliban. But these new neighbors still face bureaucratic hurdles to securing the long-term status that other refugees receive. On the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul, we call on Congress to resolve this issue without further delay.”
Because of the unique urgency of the evacuation, most Afghans who were brought to the United States were not formally admitted as refugees. In most cases, Afghans were admitted via humanitarian parole, which only allows them to stay and work lawfully in the United States temporarily, with most lacking a direct path to apply for permanent legal status, even though it is not safe to return. We believe protecting them is deeply connected to the biblical call to love the stranger and foreigner residing among us (Leviticus 19:34).