Omnibus Bill May Contain Last-Minute Citizenship For Afghan Evacuees

( Senate lawmakers from both parties are making a last-minute push to give Afghan evacuees permanent legal status in the U.S. after the Biden Administration’s botched withdrawal in 2021. An amendment introduced Wednesday by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Jerry Moran would grant residency to Afghans paroled into the U.S. after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Reports show tens of thousands of Afghans were granted humanitarian parole by Congress for public benefit or humanitarian reasons. The instrument avoided the years-long special immigrant visa and U.S. refugee admissions processes. As evacuees’ status expires next year, advocates, including some veterans groups, urged Congress to include the Afghan Adjustment Act in the omnibus spending bill.

The bill wasn’t in the first omnibus spending bill. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has raised concerns about humanitarian parole abuse and Afghan vetting issues.

A DHS inspector general report found that didn’t always have critical data to properly screen, vet, or inspect evacuees. The report said DHS may have admitted or paroled individuals who threaten national security and community safety.

According to reports, after a whistleblower told Republican lawmakers that 324 Afghans were on the Pentagon’s watch list, FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers the agency was investigating national security threats.

At least 50 Afghan evacuees were brought to the U.S. after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to a Pentagon inspector general report, U.S. officials couldn’t find dozens of inmates with “derogatory information” that would make them ineligible for parole.

9/11 anyone?

Immigration hawks have lobbied against the inclusion of such an amendment, warning that it legitimizes the abuse of humanitarian parole, which the Biden administration has used broadly to let Ukrainians, Venezuelans, and other nationalities into the U.S.\FAIR’s RJ Hauman explained that the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in a massive number of evacuees. They were also admitted against ‘case-by-case’ humanitarian parole authority. The botched resettlement of Afghans is illegal and poses serious national security and public safety concerns.

It’s an ominous bill.