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Letter: Welcome Afghans to United States

As a state senator I often hear about two issues: employee shortages and the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Maybe we have an issue we can agree on.

Letter to the editor FSA
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They need us, we need them. Let me explain.

As a state senator I often hear about two issues: employee shortages and the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Maybe we have an issue we can agree on.

U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong face a decision on how our country responds to welcoming thousands of Afghans who have been evacuated to the U.S. since August 2021. I ask them to support the passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act.

Afghan interpreters, varied professionals, laborers and others who had assisted the U.S. mission in Afghanistan lost their home in a few days. Thousands have made it to the U.S., while more await long-term safety in a third country. We have jobs and safety for them!

Afghans who would have been eligible to come to the U.S., with special visas or refugee status, have only been granted humanitarian parole. However, humanitarian parole is temporary. The Afghan Adjustment Act would offer Afghans the chance to apply for lawful permanent resident status, the same status they would have received if they would have arrived as refugees.

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Many North Dakotans served or had loved ones who served overseas and worked alongside families and individuals in Afghanistan. These people are here now, but their sense of welcome has been limited by the nature of their status, something that Congress could resolve.

Let’s welcome these friends so they can build community, find safety, and feel at home. We need each other.

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