The Biden administration plans to bring in about 95,000 Afghans this fiscal year
Unique: According to a draft document obtained by Granthshala News, the Biden administration plans to allow some Afghan civil servants who were exempted from terrorism-related sanctions by the 1996-2001 Taliban government to enter the United States. The administration continues to bring in thousands of Afghans as part of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
A draft US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plan document reviewed by Granthshala News describes how the Department of Homeland Security creates a memorandum to allow Afghan civil servants who worked during the Taliban regime to be released from terrorism-related incapacity. planning to release. Aadhaar (TRIG) if they meet other background and screening requirements.
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trig Places limits on individuals who are members of a terrorist organization or who engage in terrorism, making them unacceptable to the US and ineligible for immigration benefits. The USCIS website states that the definition of terrorism-related activity is “relatively broad and may apply to individuals and activities that are not generally believed to be linked to terrorism.” This means that TRIG will exclude those who worked under the Taliban regime, which ruled from 1996 until the US was voted out of power in 2001 as al Qaeda harbored after the 9/11 attacks. Was.
“Many individuals who held civil service positions prior to the declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996 continued to do so after the declaration,” the document says in the justification for the application. “Some did so under pressure or other circumstances of difficulty.”
“Some have used their positions in humanitarian capacity to undermine the repressive actions of the Taliban regime, often at great personal risk. Some of these civil servants later served for the International Security Assistance Force, the US government, or the established Afghan government. worked or helped them. in December 22, 2001,” it adds.
The Taliban have regained control of Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal, and the Biden administration is bringing thousands of Afghans to the US, including those helping US missions and deemed “at risk”. The administration has estimated that it will bring in around 95,000 Afghans during this fiscal year.
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The document states that the TRIG exemption authorization for Afghan civil servants was finalized in January 2017 during the final days of the Obama administration, but was never published or implemented. USCIS says the guidance is now being implemented as it expects an increase in filings from Afghan citizens. The authority allows USCIS officers to grant exemptions on grounds of inadmissibility related to terrorism resulting from employment as civil servants by the Taliban between September 1996 and December 2001.
An administration official stressed to Granthshala News that the memo would not change the screening and investigation process in existence and that each person would still be screened, evaluated and cleared by law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials before being admitted to the US. The official also said that similar exemptions are granted with refugees from countries such as the Soviet Union and Cuba, and without exemptions, Afghans who work as teachers or in health care are excluded from entering the US. can go.
“Effect [of the memo] is that those who work as doctors, grade school teachers, civil servants or low-level government employees will not automatically be barred from entering the United States because they work in those occupations.” the officer said.
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The official told Granthshala News that the status of the move is “pre-conclusive.”
The plan document also notes that TRIG exemptions have occurred from time to time and that exemptions include those who offered material assistance under pressure for voluntary provisions of medical care and membership of multiple groups. It also states that a person will be considered for exemption only if the withdrawal has passed “all background checks and currency”.[s] poses no threat to the safety and security of the United States, and other threshold requirements.”
The administration has repeatedly defended what it describes as its “multi-layered” surveillance and screening procedures and that screening and security are conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials from multiple agencies. But Republicans have expressed concern about both the revision process and the number of Afghans not directly related to the US mission.
Last week, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee urged the DHS Office of Inspector General to investigate the processes and practices behind the evacuation and rehabilitation campaign.