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Washington D.C.
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Limited Numbers of Operation Allies Welcome Population Have Filed Asylum Applications

USCIS said it will continue to monitor and assess operations to ensure consistent compliance with statutory timelines for the OAW population, while also addressing demand for protection screening interviews at the Southwest Border.

An Office of Inspector General (OIG) review of the Department of Homeland Security’s preparations to receive and expedite requests from Afghan evacuees for long-term legal status has found that members of the Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) population had filed only limited numbers of applications for asylum as of May 31, 2022, although they likely remain eligible to apply into 2024. 

OIG therefore determined that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has met OAW-specific processing timelines established by the Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022 for the majority of applications that have been filed and has adjusted its operations to expedite adjudications. 

However, OIG warned that a surge of applications over a short period of time may strain USCIS operations given the required processing timelines and the preexisting non-OAW application backlog. “Because the vast majority of the OAW population had not yet applied for long-term legal status in the period covered by our fieldwork, there could be a surge of asylum applications as the OAW population’s initial period of parole potentially starts to expire in mid-2023,” OIG said.

USCIS said it will continue to monitor and assess operations to ensure consistent compliance with statutory timelines for the OAW population, while also addressing demand for protection screening interviews at the Southwest Border. It also said it will continue to provide training and is developing tools to streamline interviewing and assessment writing. 

Read the full report at OIG

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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