Jesuit Refugee Service/USA applauds introduction of the Welcoming Evacuees Coming from Overseas to Mitigate Effects of Displacement (WELCOMED) Act of 2021, which would provide critical assistance to Afghan refugees arriving in the U.S.
Introduced on September 3 by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Don Bacon (R-NE), the WELCOMED Act addresses gaps in assistance and support for Afghan evacuees arriving in the U.S. under “humanitarian parole.” This includes providing Afghan evacuees with a direct pathway to permanent residency and access to certain federal programs designed to help refugees integrate into communities.
“Afghan evacuees have left all that they know behind, and many are arriving in the U.S. with little to nothing,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director. “The U.S. must do everything in its power to offer protection and security for as long as necessary to those requiring our assistance.”
The Biden Administration has stated that at least 50,000 Afghans are expected to be admitted into the U.S. under humanitarian parole as part of the U.S. commitment to helping those who aided the American war effort and others who are particularly vulnerable under Taliban rule. The WELCOMED Act would provide Afghan individuals and their families with access to services including refugee medical assistance, English-language classes, housing assistance, job training, and helping children enroll in school.
“We look forward to working with Congress to advance this bipartisan legislation and ensure that vulnerable Afghans have the resources and support they need to swiftly and effectively resettle in the U.S.,” said Giulia McPherson, Director of Advocacy & Operations.