Immigration Benefits for Afghans Who helped US Military
On June 16, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State announced exemptions allowing certain Afghans to qualify for immigration benefits. After consulting with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State utilized their congressionally given authority to issue three exemptions designed to protect vulnerable Afghans from being automatically denied protection or any other immigration benefits.
These exemptions will allow former non-high-level civil servants, those who supported U.S. military interests in Afghanistan, and those forced to pay Taliban for basic needs and services to be more carefully considered for U.S. immigration services that usually would be automatically denied to them due to broad interpretation of terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds in the U.S. immigration law. These exemptions will be applied in a case-by-case basis after multi-leveled screening and vetting of applicants by various agencies to ensure that they do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
This is not the first time the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State have exercised this authority. They have done this over 30 times in previous years, under Democrat and Republican administrations.