BOSTON — Federal immigration officials have denied hundreds of Afghans seeking temporary entry into the country for humanitarian reasons.
Immigrant advocates say the Biden administration has failed to honor its promise to help Afghans who were left behind after the U.S. military withdrew from the country and the Taliban took control.
Since the U.S. withdrawal, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials say they've received more than 35,000 applications for humanitarian parole, of which they've denied about 470 and approved fewer than 150.
The little-known provision is reserved for extreme emergencies when the traditional visa process isn't an option and foreigners need to quickly and briefly enter the country. Victoria Palmer, a spokesperson for USCIS, said the agency typically receives fewer than 2,000 requests annually from all nationalities, of which USCIS approves an average of about 500, she said.
The numbers from the USCIS are just the latest reports indicating the struggles facing Afghans who fled to the U.S. amid this summer's takeover by the Taliban.
The New York Times recently reported that thousands of Afghans reported issues immigrating into the country. Many told the Times that they felt the system was not prepared to take them in, even after the Biden administration promised to take care of those who assisted the U.S. military in their fight against the Taliban.
In fact, the AP reports that the U.S. is still in the process of evacuating hundreds of people from Afghanistan. Since the military withdrawal in August, the government has evacuated more than 900 American citizens and residents and another 2,200 Afghans.
The State Department said it expects to help resettle as many as 95,000 people from Afghanistan this fiscal year.