https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/immigration/biden-administration-deems-afghans-in-us-ineligible-for-deportation

The Biden administration will not deport citizens of Afghanistan who are living in the United States without legal permission, the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the implementation of Temporary Protected Status for Afghans in the country, allowing them to be protected from deportation and given the ability to work for the next 18 months. The policy means that Afghans brought to the U.S. in the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, many of whom didn’t go through a formal process and weren’t fully vetted, will not be in line for removal.

“This TPS designation will help to protect Afghan nationals who have already been living in the United States from returning to unsafe conditions,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “Under this designation, TPS will also provide additional protections and assurances to trusted partners and vulnerable Afghans who supported the U.S. military, diplomatic, and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.”

The policy is not necessarily intended for the roughly 80,000 Afghans who the U.S. evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, last year, though the DHS said that “these individuals may also be eligible for TPS.” Afghan refugees brought to the U.S. were released into the country on a parole basis, allowing them to be safe from deportation and to work for a period of two years. The DHS did not respond to a request for the total number of Afghans in the U.S. who are eligible to be shielded from being removed.

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The U.S. government designated Afghanistan for TPS due to the armed conflict and “extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent the country’s nationals from returning in safety,” the DHS said in a press release.

Last summer, the Biden administration pulled U.S. troops from Afghanistan and al Qaeda quickly overtook control of its capital city of Kabul. Since then, the Taliban and Islamic State-Khorasan have both attempted to take control and waged attacks against civilians.

More than 300,000 people have been approved for TPS since Congress created the program in 1990.

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Citizens from an additional 12 countries are also protected under TPS at present, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a DHS agency. Those countries include Myanmar, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

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