Awareness - June 20, 2022 - We Welcome

Awareness - June 20, 2022

World Refugee Day

We honor the resilience and fortitude of refugees on World Refugee Day today. UNHCR data shows that over 100 million people across the world are forcibly displaced – the highest level in history. 1 in 78 people on Earth are facing displacement, and this number continues to grow with the ongoing war in Ukraine as well as continuing conflicts in Syria, Ethiopia, Yemen, Myanmar, and more. 

The latest Global Trends Report from the UN Refugee Agency breaks down these numbers to show the countries most affected by the refugee crisis. If you are looking for ways to get engaged, check out our website or schedule a call with us to learn more. 

Afghans seeking humanitarian parole are mostly being denied

CBS News reported today that 90% of adjudicated humanitarian parole applications submitted by Afghans since last summer have been denied. While those brought into the country during the evacuation from Afghanistan were allowed to enter under a special, broad application of humanitarian parole, Afghans still seeking to flee the country must apply for parole on a case-by-case basis. Most of the 46,000 applications filed have not been reviewed: of approximately 4,500 that have been completed, 297 were approved and 4,246 were denied. 

The United States has also admitted very few Afghans through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As of the end of May, only 583 refugees had been admitted from Afghanistan this fiscal year. 

The US government has attributed the slow rate of reviews and approvals to the large influx of applications - in a traditional year, USCIS will process about 2,000 applications for humanitarian parole, and the number of recent applications from Afghanistan is 20 times that number. However, USCIS has proven itself capable of creating much faster avenues as evidenced by the Uniting for Ukraine program implemented this April. Within 3 months of the program’s launch, 37,000 applications have been approved and 11,000 Ukrainians have already arrived in the United States.

CBP data from May shows a slight increase in border crossings

Last week, CBP released their data on southwest border encounters, which saw a 2% increase over April. While 239,416 encounters were recorded, the rate of repeat crossings remains high (25%), and those encounters represented only 177,793 unique individuals. We continue to see single adults comprising most of the border crossings at 69%, but the number of unaccompanied children increased by 21% to 14,699 encounters in May. The number of individuals apprehended within a family unit also increased to 59,282 encounters – up 8% from April. Title 42 continues to be applied frequently at the southern border, and 42% of border encounters were expelled under this policy. 

This breakdown from the National Immigration Forum’s Danilo Zak provides helpful context around these numbers, particularly as we look at reports stating that these are record high numbers of apprehensions. Notably, while the number of “apprehensions” is as high as it’s been in the last 20 years, CBP currently intercepts a much larger percentage of those attempting to cross the border than they did 20 years ago. So while those apprehension numbers of May 2022 are similar to former highs in the early 2000s, there were more people who crossed without being intercepted at that time than we currently see.

Chart from Danilo Zak, accessed via Twitter on June 20, 2022.