“There are a lot of things wrong with the system”: Afghan evacuees fight housing and immigration barriers
But within the first week of their arrival, a building complex manager told them there was an occupancy limit and they would have to leave.
Now they have to move again.
But the financial support they receive from the government is not enough to provide a security deposit, and some places ask for a credit history, which they don’t have either.
“We are totally lost in this situation,” she said, adding that some owners were asking for a five-month deposit for a one-bedroom apartment.
Back in Afghanistan, Shakir said, her husband was a contract worker for US-based companies and they were in the process of applying for a special immigrant visa (SIV) when they left, but she said they had applied for compassionate release and were allowed to stay for the time being.
In many cases, humanitarian parole was seen as a temporary workaround that would allow individuals to enter and remain in the United States visa-free for “urgent humanitarian reasons”.
Legal and community groups say they expect to file at least 30,000 humanitarian parole applications, but nationwide, only 100 applications have been approved since July.
For Shakir, who was granted temporary status on humanitarian parole, this did not solve all the challenges. Her CalFresh card has stopped working, so the family needs help with food in addition to housing.
“We waited four weeks and it did not arrive at our mailing address. Then they said, “Wait, one more week. We waited another week. However, it did not happen, ”she explained. “Then they said, ‘OK, you are applying for a replacement.’ We again requested a replacement.