Washington: Following the existential crisis after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, Congressman Jim Langevin, in a House Homeland Security Committee meeting, called on US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to address the shortcoming “immediately” risen due to 14,000 humanitarian requests for Afghans seeking relocation to the United States, said an American broadcaster.
According to Voice of America, the CIS informed in the meeting that there were only six officers to process the requests of about 14,000 requests on Thursday.
“I want to say that again: 14,000 humanitarian parole applications with just six officers, that is completely and utterly unacceptable, and I call on USCIS to address the shortcoming immediately,” VOA quoted Langevin as saying.
The broadcaster informed that humanitarian parole is a “special permission” granted to non-Americans to come to the US following some emergency circumstances.
According to a USCIS official, the service gets even less than 2,000 humanitarian parole requests in a year from around the world, the broadcaster reported.
However, the service has been flooded with requests from Afghans, receiving as many as 20,000 such requests since August, which is up from 14,000 requests in mid-October, VOA reported citing the official statement.
A large number of Afghan Americans who had ties with the US military or the US government have filed requests for special immigrant visas or refugee status, reported VOA.
“USCIS issued an agency-wide request for volunteers to help process applications for humanitarian and significant public benefit parole and the agency will have significantly more staff assigned to this workload in the coming weeks,” VOA quoted the official as saying.
As many as 1,50,000 requests could be filed by Afghans in a year, reported the broadcaster citing an Afghan American lawyer, Wogai Mohmand.
“Their systems are not equipped to deal with that kind of volume, frankly, they don’t have enough staff to look at all those applications,” the broadcaster quoted Mohmand as saying during a webinar.