Letter to Congress Regarding the Afghan Adjustment Act (August 10, 2022)
August 10, 2022
I write on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration to express our support for S. 4787/H.R. 8685, the “Afghan Adjustment Act”. This bipartisan bill would lift the cloud of legal uncertainty currently faced by tens of thousands of Afghans relocated to the United States in recent months and promote their full integration within American communities.
Many of those who would benefit from this legislation served alongside U.S. servicemembers in Afghanistan or are the family members of those individuals. This service comes at a great personal sacrifice, as they now face the threat of persecution and even death if returned to their native Afghanistan. Unfortunately, their ability to remain in the United States permanently is severely limited under current law, even after an unprecedented effort to secure their relocation. The Afghan Adjustment Act would address this defect, fulfilling our nation’s promise to these families, demonstrating the United States’ commitment to its allies, and reaffirming the importance of humanitarian protection.
Over the past year, the USCCB’s Department of Migration and Refugee Services has been proud to join with government entities, our Catholic partners, and other organizations in welcoming Afghans throughout Operation Allies Welcome, from their earliest moments at the Safe Havens, to their final resettlement destinations in the United States. That work of encounter and accompaniment has only reinforced the need for this legislation. As the USCCB’s Administrative Committee stated in March, “What must always be in the forefront of our thoughts and actions is the fact that each and every person, including the newcomer, is a brother or sister to us all and a blessing to welcoming communities when given the opportunity to integrate.” In that same spirit, it is both our moral duty and in our country’s best interest to provide our new Afghan neighbors with a pathway to permanent legal status.
For these reasons, we ask you to take up and pass the Afghan Adjustment Act without delay.
Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration