Sacramento is home to many Afghan refugees, and more are on the way. In addition, McGeorge Law School has had various LL.M. students from Afghanistan – some of whom are permanently resettled in the U.S. and some of whom are back home. In the past few months, the Immigration Clinic has received requests for help from our former students and members of the Afghan community more broadly.
The Clinic attorneys and law students have assisted local Afghan residents to file Humanitarian Parole applications. These petitions, if approved, would allow family members whose lives are in danger in Afghanistan to obtain permission to come to the United States. The Immigration Clinic attorneys and students are holding weekly workshops for people who wish to complete Humanitarian Parole petitions for their loved ones.
In addition, the Clinic is providing legal assistance to Afghan refugees who have recently arrived on Humanitarian Parole. These refugees will need to receive consultations to obtain employment authorization and to determine whether they have a viable legal route to permanent resident status through an asylum application or a family-based petition.
We are fundraising to assist our Afghan community with expenses such as:
- Filing fees for immigration applications. Individuals who apply for Humanitarian Parole face a filing fee of $575 per applicant to have their petitions processed by USCIS. This translates into a large sum of money because a separate application must be filed for each family member. With your help, we hope to cover the cost of some of these immigration expenses.
- Resettlement expenses. Although individuals who enter on Humanitarian Parole can obtain employment authorization, this can take months to receive and many recent arrivals need assistance with resettlement expenses.
- Psychological evaluations and services for our asylum applicants.
- Workshops and fairs for legal assistance.
***We have secured donors who will match gifts on a 1:1 basis for the first $16,000 in gifts that we receive in support of the Afghan refugees. ***
An additional hurdle to filing for Humanitarian Parole is that each petition requires an Affidavit of Support from sponsors who have an income between 100-125% of the poverty limit or higher. While the Afghan relatives here will gladly provide material support to their loved ones in the form of food and shelter, it is difficult for many to meet the income requirements. However, people unrelated to the petitioner or beneficiary may be a sponsor. We would like to help our workshop participants find sponsors. Without sponsors, the petitions cannot be filed – even if we have the filing fees.
It is worth noting that people who receive Humanitarian Parole have been declared eligible for virtually the same benefits that other refugees receive – including work authorization and access to medical care, as well as resettlement assistance. They will have support and the means to become self-sufficient.
The Humanitarian Parole sponsor does not need to provide financial support, nor can the government legally enforce any obligation against the signer. However, sponsors must provide tax documents, copies of bank balances, etc. to establish their net worth. For more information on becoming a sponsor, please email the McGeorge Legal Clinics.
Thank you for your help.