Re-parole for Afghans
Re-parole for Afghans - English
Re-parole for Afghans - Dari
Re-parole for Afghans - Pashto
Due to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and resulting chaotic evacuation of Afghans to the U.S., there are an unprecedented number of Afghans in the U.S. needing immediate and urgent pro and low bono legal services. With the exception of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, the majority of Afghan evacuees entered the U.S. with a status known by many names, including “port parole,” “humanitarian parole,” “parole,” and likely others.
This “status” is not a permanent immigration status, nor is it a path to lawful permanent residence (green card status) or U.S. citizenship. Rather it temporarily allows these individuals to remain the U.S. for two years, and, in the case of evacuated Afghans, also includes work authorization and benefits usually only afforded to resettled refugees and asylees.
In order for this population of evacuated Afghans to remain in the U.S., they will need to pursue other paths to lawful permanent residence before the two-year parole period ends (for most this is August/September 2023). These paths include, but are not limited to: family-based petitions for spouses, children, and (for U.S. citizens age 21 or older) parents; Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for interpreters, translators, or individuals employed by the U.S. government in Afghanistan; and asylum for those facing a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, political opinion or particular social group, upon return to Afghanistan.
Vision & Objective
Colorado has resettled about 2,000 of the Afghans evacuated to the U.S. since August of 2021. Infrastructure to meet this population’s immigration legal needs does not currently exist. Catholic Charities of Denver’s Colorado Afghan Legal Project hopes to be a significant step in building that infrastructure, by developing a state-wide asylum workshop model, providing direct legal services to Afghan parolees, creating referral pathways for immigration legal services beyond our capacity, as well as building capacity in the community to provide these needed immigration legal services now and in the future.
The Colorado Afghan Legal Project is based at Catholic Charities of Denver (CCD). Thanks to funding from the Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund, CCD’s immigration legal program now houses an Asylum Workshop Coordinator to oversee this project. Because the need for affirmative asylum legal services will likely far outpace availability of immigration attorneys in Colorado, this project utilizes an asylum workshop model to assist the majority of asylum applicants through the process unrepresented. Workshops are staffed by trained volunteers, who are paired with families to prepare applications for asylum and compile evidence in support of those applications. Every application for asylum is reviewed by an immigration attorney before filing.
Outcomes & Impact
This year we held twelve Afghan asylum workshops, where we prepared over 600 applications for asylum. Our 355 volunteers donated 4,368 hours of their time. Beginning in 2023 we plan to address other immigration legal needs for our new Afghan neighbors and continue helping Afghan asylum seekers find refuge in Colorado.
Ways to Help
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation
While the Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund has enabled us to establish our project and hire an Asylum Workshop Coordinator, we are still in need of funding to add staff and capacity for direct immigration legal services representation for cases not appropriate for the workshop setting. Make your tax-deductible donation here.
Help Fund Interpretation
The two main languages of Afghanistan are Dari and Pashto. Because of the sudden increase in the need for interpretation in these languages, interpretation is in high demand. Make a tax-deductible donation to our interpreter fund here (select Dedicate this gift).
Make an In-Kind Donation
Our workshops need supplies. Consider donating from this list of needed supplies. Donations can be shipped directly to our office or dropped off at designated times.
Sponsor a Workshop
Consider paying the costs of one workshop, including office supplies, technology, food for volunteers, interpreter stipends, and other related costs. Available sponsorship levels are available here. Sponsors will also receive recognition for their contribution here.
Volunteer at a Workshop
We need volunteers to staff our workshops and help Afghan parolees in Colorado apply for asylum and remain safely in the United States. View the volunteer training here and sign up to volunteer at one of our upcoming workshops here. You don’t have to be an attorney and no prior legal experience is necessary.
Take a Pro Bono Asylum Case
Are you an attorney looking to take on pro bono work for your firm or as an individual? We can pair you with an Afghan asylum seeker and an experienced immigration attorney mentor. Sign up to take a pro bono case by emailing Tracy Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be a Pro Bono Attorney Mentor
Many attorneys in Colorado want to help but have no immigration law experience. If you do not have time to take your own pro bono asylum case, consider becoming a mentor by contacting Tracy Harper at email@example.com.