Provide Safe Haven to LGBTQ+ Afghan Refugees

Target:  Joseph Biden, United States President

Goal: Expedite the process of refugee resettlement and ensure safe passage to the United States for LGBTQ+ and other Afghan refugees.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, LGBTQ+ individuals in the country have increasingly faced threats to their safety because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Human Rights Watch reports that LGBTQ+ individuals have experienced physical and sexual attacks, or threats of attacks, from members of the Taliban itself, but also from family members who either support the Taliban or take such measures to protect themselves. This has pushed many people to flee Afghanistan, but only a small number of them have reached a LGBTQ+ safe country.

Many of LGBTQ+ Afghans still find themselves in dangerous situations after fleeing the country, forced to flee to surrounding countries that also criminalize and persecute individuals because of their gender identities and sexual orientations. Worse still, many have been forced to live in refugee camps since last summer where they face continuous harassment and abuse from bigoted individuals inside the camps. Because of the conditions in Afghanistan, individuals experiencing persecution experience great difficulties obtaining both the financial resources and official documentation they need to leave the country, and LGBTQ+ individuals in particular face these challenges in great numbers.

CBS News reports that since July 2021, over 46,000 applications for parole process – an entry process where immigrants without visas and with urgent humanitarian needs can come to the US without visas – have been submitted for a variety of reasons. Less than 5,000 of these applications have been resolved, and 90% of the ones adjudicated were denied. As of June 2022, only 297 Afghan parole requests have been granted. The US is doing far too little to help LGBTQ+ and other Afghan refugees resettle in the country.

Call on President Biden to do whatever is necessary to expedite the process of refugee resettlement and ensure safe passage to the United States for LGBTQ+ and other Afghan refugees.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Biden,

Since the August 2021 take over of Afghanistan by the Taliban, tens of thousands of people have fled the country in search of safety. Too many remain stuck in precarious situations, facing down the same dangers they have tried to escape. Human Rights Watch reports that, while in Afghanistan, LGBTQ+ individuals experienced physical and sexual attacks, or threats of attacks, from their family members and the Taliban alike. Many of those Afghans who fled such attacks remain at high risk in refugee camps located in countries where gender identities and sexual orientations are also criminalized and persecuted and with bigoted individuals who also reside in the camps.

While the US has procedures in place to help refugees, like LGBTQ+ Afghans, who are in danger and may also lack resources or official documentation to enter the country, it has only utilized this option on a minuscule amount of those applying to enter the United states in this way. You must do everything in your power to make sure US access points, like the parole program, are able to expedite the process of resettlement and ensure safe passage to the United States for LGBTQ+ and other Afghan refugees.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: RawPixel


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195 Signatures

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