Congress has not yet voted on the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide those evacuated during the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan a pathway to permanent legal residency. Most evacuees currently reside in the U.S. under humanitarian parole status, which allows Afghans to live and work in the U.S. for two years, but does not offer a clear path to permanent residency.
We had hoped to see the bipartisan bill voted on this month, but due to objections from the opposition who argue that evacuees pose security risks, the measure stalled. If the Afghan Adjustment Act fails to move forward, Afghans who were paroled into the U.S. must find another path to temporary or permanent residency. They could lose access to employment and health care and even face deportation.
Husna’s Escape from Afghanistan
Knowing this, we can’t help but think about our friend Husna, who we introduced to you a few weeks ago. Husna has been living in the U.S. since November, after a harrowing escape from Afghanistan. She had been forced to go into hiding once the Taliban gained control of her country. Her brother, an Afghan military drone pilot, was flagged as a threat to the Taliban putting their entire family at risk. Husna and her family had already suffered the death of one brother to the Taliban and knew they would need to leave Afghanistan or they too would be killed.
After forty-eight days of hiding in safe houses while waiting for their chance to evacuate, Husna, along with her brother and his fiance, received the call that they were on the evacuation list and should come to the airport the next morning.
Husna remembers the fear she felt around the uncertainty of not knowing what would happen and having to leave the rest of her family behind. Thankfully, she made it safely to the U.S. At first, Husna lived in a refugee camp on a military base and then three months later was relocated to a home in the northeastern United States.
What Will Husna’s Future Hold?
Since arriving, Husna has felt welcomed into the U.S. She has a job and is providing for her family. She has begun to dream about her future, and she hopes to become a doctor.
Husna was in medical school in Afghanistan when the Taliban occupied her country. Under Taliban control, as a female, she would never be allowed to study medicine or work and support her family. She is so grateful for the opportunities she has now in the U.S. and cannot imagine ever returning to her home country.
What Can We Do to Help?
Husna’s story is not unique. Many other Afghan evacuees, just like Husna, need a pathway to permanent legal residency. Our elected officials need to hear from us! We need to call them and ask them to vote for the Afghan Adjustment Act. Remember, We must use our voice for Husna and her family and other Afghans that are already residing in our neighborhoods, working in the U.S. economy, and dreaming of a better future.
Need help contacting your elected officials? In just a few clicks, you can contact them to support the Afghan Adjustment Act!
Hear more of Husna’s impactful story in this video.
Download our free guide to Using Your Voice!