Media Contact: Jesus Chavez, firstname.lastname@example.org (559) 213-6841
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2021
PROJECT ANAR LAUNCHES TO SUPPORT THOUSANDS OF AFGHAN REFUGEES
Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area – On August 14, 2021, Taliban forces took control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. In response to this crisis, a small team of Afghan organizers rallied advocates from across the country and began frantically working to help a long list of Afghan nationals; some are extremely high-risk young people, some are single women who have worked in TV journalism and women’s rights, and some are folks who collaborated closely with the US and are in deep danger.
This team became Project ANAR (Afghan Network for Advocacy and Resources), and began filing humanitarian parole applications for Afghans. This is a rapid-response emerging crisis. The Project’s main focus is humanitarian parole. Humanitarian Parole is a pathway for entry to the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons. It is usually granted when someone has no other alternatives for entry. It’s essentially a temporary permission to come to the United States, on a humanitarian basis, and stay for up to one year (as granted at USCIS discretion). For many of our families, that permission could allow time for their other pending SIV and P-2 visas to be processed or for family reunification processes to be submitted. For some, it may be one of their only pathways to rapid safety. Typically, Humanitarian Parole applications are processed quicker than permanent status visas.
Humanitarian Parole is also important as a strategy because it might allow families to leave harm’s way more quickly and also provide them with papers that would count as “onward travel” confirmation, which helps with evacuation efforts. Currently there are evacuation limitations for people with no documents and few countries still willing to take refugees. Humanitarian Parole could provide many families with an important missing stepping stone in their efforts to flee to safety.
The Project has also focused on a large congressional pressure campaign and created initial infrastructure to disperse critical financial and legal assistance to Afghan refugees. The coalition is composed of predomiately BIPOC and/or queer lawyers and Afghan organizers, which is currently housed at Pangea Legal Services.
Our legal and community partners include:
- Afghan American Community Organization
- Afghan Diaspora for Equality & Progress
- Berkeley Law for Afghanistan Project
- Centro Legal de la Raza
- Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
- Innovation Law Labs
- Oasis Legal Services
- PARS Equality Center
- Southeast Asian Resource Action Center
Ways You Can Help
Donate! Donations cover humanitarian parole filing fees ($575/each), paralegals, and legal coordinators.
Become a volunteer sponsor! This is open to US Citizens and Green Card Holders. There is no enforceable ability for wages to be garnished like a permanent status immigration sponsorship. But it does require submission of a tax return to prove you have means at about 125% of the poverty rate, based on the number of people in your household. If anyone has access to a mosque, church group, book club, or workplace social responsibility program or some other kind of community of people who care, they could be transformative change agents in this effort. Bonus points if volunteer sponsors are Muslims who understand the cultural specifics more readily.
Become a volunteer lawyer! If you or someone you know is an attorney, please consider providing pro bono hours. Training is provided.
To learn more, visit projectanar.org and keep up to date with our project on Instagram and Facebook (@projectanar), and Twitter (@project_anar).