The University of Iowa providing legal services to the displaced is a big step toward promoting human rights.
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Over a year ago, Iowa received hundreds of Afghan immigrants who fled from their country after the Taliban took control of it. With nowhere else to go, resettling them is the humane thing to do.
However, resettlement is an arduous process with a plethora of legal caveats. So, the University of Iowa, along with the Drake Refugee Clinic and Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, established the Afghan Legal League of Iowa to protect Afghans’ rights to asylum.
The UI has the resources to assist Afghan refugees, and we should help at any capacity possible.
When the Refugee Act of 1980 was created, it allowed the US to admit up to 50,000 refugees annually. Additionally, the president had the power to go over that number if necessary for humanitarian purposes.
But the process from applying to actually receiving asylum is difficult and complex, often involving multiple government agencies. The process can take years, even generations, to conclude. This leads to some consequential issues.
First, extended asylum case durations could violate one’s human right to basic necessities because asylum seekers will oftentimes be forced to remain in unfavorable conditions while they wait for their cases to be processed.
Second, one could be separated from their family for an extended period during the process, adding a psychological element to the suffering one is likely to experience while they wait.