Biden to grant temporary deportation relief to Afghans in the US

The Biden administration will grant temporary deportation relief and work permits to Afghans without permanent legal status but who are currently in the US, a move that could aid those evacuated after last year’s US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The grant of so-called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will be available to 72,500 Afghans who entered on what is known as “humanitarian parole,” another temporary status, as part of the US evacuation of at-risk Afghans last summer, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Wednesday.

Reuters reported the TPS designation would also cover about 2,000 Afghans who entered the United States on student, employment and tourist visas and can no longer return to their home country.

The designation will be available to those living in the United States by March 15 and last for 18 months, the DHS said, although the status could be renewed.

The program allows foreign nationals who cannot return to their home countries due to violent conflict, natural disasters or other extraordinary circumstances the ability to stay and work in the United States legally for a defined period of time.

About 80,000 Afghans have been resettled in the United States as part of “Operation Allies Welcome,” the largest effort of its kind since the Vietnam War.