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WASHINGTON — Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on the two-year anniversary of Operation Allies Welcome:
“Two years ago, President Biden directed the Department of Homeland Security to lead Operation Allies Welcome, the historic effort to provide refuge to Afghans nationals, including those who stood alongside us in Afghanistan for two decades. Today, our country is stronger because of the more than 115,000 Afghans we have welcomed since the summer of 2021 who contribute so much to our communities across America. The Afghan newcomers contribute to our economy, support their families, and enrich the cultural fabric of our society. Our Department’s workforce, supported by welcoming American communities and the American people, met the mission of this unprecedented moment.
The Department of Homeland Security, and the entire Biden-Harris Administration, remain committed to ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of the Afghan newcomers. Towards that end, the Department began hosting Afghan Support Centers earlier this summer to help streamline immigration and social service accessibility. Additionally, the Administration remains committed to working with Congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act to provide a durable, streamlined immigration pathway for those currently on parole. Our allies deserve certainty and stability, which only Congress can guarantee through legislation, just as it did for our partners after the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and other conflicts where we enlisted partners to serve alongside our country. To our Afghan newcomers in the U.S. on parole status who have not yet filed for asylum, adjustment of status as a special immigrant, or re-parole – the U.S. Government is accepting applications now.
America keeps its promises, and no promise is more sacrosanct than the one we make to support and protect those who serve alongside our troops. I am immensely proud of the intragovernmental workforce, veterans’ networks, and American people who have stood by and supported our Afghan allies in their moment of need. We are ready and eager to work with Congress to finish the mission.”