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Resettlement group calls for public support of Afghan Adjustment Act

A refugee resettlement group is asking the public to voice support for the Afghan Adjustment Act — legislation that would provide Afghan refugees a pathway to permanent legal status in the U.S. 

More than 70,000 Afghans have arrived in the U.S. after being evacuated from their country last fall. But a DHS report found some 36,000 have no obvious pathway to permanent status.

Meanwhile, U.S. immigration courts are contending with a record long backlog, a recent tally by the research group TRAC found some 1.6 million people are awaiting cases and the average wait time is five years. 

Advocates say the Afghan Adjustment Act would allow many Afghans to avoid having to apply for asylum and enter that backlog.

It’s why the refugee agency HIAS marked Tuesday as   National Call-In Day for Afghans and urged members of the public to call their representatives and ask them to support the measure. 

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.