WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ur Jaddou regarding the restrictive and inconsistent approach DHS and USCIS have adopted in relation to humanitarian parole applications submitted by more than 40,000 Afghans in recent months.
Rep. Grijalva states his concerns and requests answers to questions regarding the humanitarian role process in the letter:
“I am gravely concerned for the lives of the more than 40,000 individuals who await a response
on their pending cases, and the many more who are unfamiliar with the humanitarian parole
process and may be left behind. My casework team, like countless others have worked tirelessly
to process and submit constituent requests related to this crisis. Unfortunately, responses to those requests and the adjudication of those cases have been slow. For those reasons, I respectfully request an answer to the following questions:
1. As of January 5, 2022, how many Afghanistan humanitarian parole applications have been received, including the number that have been favorably and unfavorably adjudicated.
2. As of January 5, 2022, how many officers are adjudicating Afghanistan humanitarian parole applications and is this number expected to increase or decrease for 2022?
3. Does USCIS plan to utilize email notifications when responding to individuals granted that mailing systems are non-existent or unreliable in third countries?
4. Are there any barriers, administrative or otherwise that is resulting in processing times to be prolonged? If so, are there any plans in place to address this?
5. According to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General’s report, USCIS’ reliance on paper files has limited its ability to process benefits. Currently, USCIS can electronically process only 17 of 102 benefits it adjudicates. Are there any plans to process humanitarian parole applications electronically in the near future? Online submissions would facilitate the process for individuals currently taking temporary residence in third countries to submit all necessary documentation in a timely manner.”
The full letter can be found here.