Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) led a letter calling on President Joe Biden to take four specific steps to aid Afghan evacuees on October 20, 2021. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Tlaib Leads Call for Biden to Take 'Commonsense Steps' to Aid Afghan Evacuees

"Our country has long offered shelter to those seeking refuge from catastrophe. Now is the time to continue that tradition and stand beside Afghan evacuees in need."

Jessica Corbett

Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib led two dozen other Democrats in sending a letter pressuring U.S. President Joe Biden to take several "concrete, commonsense steps" to aid Afghan evacuees with "their transition into life in the United States."

About 53,000 Afghans—roughly half of them children—were brought to the United States during an evacuation of American troops earlier this year. In the letter, Taib and the other lawmakers called on the president to:

  • Waive fees associated with humanitarian parole applications for Afghans;
  • Provide funds for legal assistance for Afghan evacuees;
  • Designate Afghans for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to ensure that all Afghans living in the U.S. are protected against deportation; and
  • Create an alternative mechanism to allow vulnerable Afghans to apply for humanitarian parole without visiting a U.S. embassy while we lack diplomatic representation in Kabul.

"Historically, humanitarian parole applications are sent to U.S. embassies in the country of the parolee," but given the situation in Kabul, "Afghan parolees will be forced to take dangerous routes to third countries" to have their applications processed, the lawmakers explain.

The letter also highlights that "Congress recently authorized significant funding for the resettlement of Afghan parolees" and outlines some relevant portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

"The United States has long offered shelter to those seeking refuge from catastrophe," the letter says. "Now is the time to continue this tradition and stand beside the Afghan people in their time of need."

Democrats' demands follow Biden ordering all American troops out of Afghanistan by the end of August after nearly 20 years of war. The messy withdrawal—during which the Taliban seized control of the country—included a U.S. airstrike that killed 10 Afghan civilians, which the Pentagon later admitted was a "horrible mistake," provoking calls for an end to drone attacks.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Arbitrary, Racist, and Unfair': Judge Blocks Biden From Ending Title 42

"Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling," said one migrant rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

'This Is a War' for Democratic Party's Future, Says Sanders of AIPAC's Super PAC

"They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country," said the senator.

Julia Conley ·

Ginni Thomas Pressed Arizona Lawmakers to Reverse Biden's 2020 Win: Report

"Clarence Thomas' continued service on the Supreme Court is a scandalous and appalling breach of judicial ethics," said one observer. "He is implementing the exact same theories that his wife used to try to steal the 2020 election for Trump."

Brett Wilkins ·

Millions More Kids Going Hungry Since GOP, Manchin Killed Expanded Child Tax Credit

"Even brief disruptions in access to food can have lasting consequences," wrote the authors of a new analysis of worsening hunger among U.S. families.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo