October 12, 2021
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – As Afghan allies flee their homes in search of refuge in America, World Relief Memphis is partnering with Welcome South, a coalition of law firms comprised of Advocates for Immigrant Rights, Community Legal Center and Mid-South Immigration Advocates, to help newly arrived Afghan families acquire the legal services they need to build stable, safe futures in the Memphis community.
“Unlike most refugees who receive approval on their cases before entering the U.S., arriving Afghans were forced to leave their country so abruptly that most didn’t have an opportunity to complete the application process,” said World Relief Memphis executive director PJ Moore. “For Afghans arriving, legal support will be needed to make hope and healing possible through the adjustment of their temporary legal status to a permanent one. Our partnership with Welcome South is coming at a critical time.”
Upon seeing the crisis unfold in Afghanistan, and in conjunction with the complicated nature of the immigration system, both parties decided to come together in a unified response to help Afghan allies present their cases to U.S. immigration authorities.
Afghans will need legal services upon arrival to the Memphis area to live without fear of being returned to a dangerous country. Through giving, the Memphis community has an opportunity to show the world that America is a place of welcome.
“Since 2006, the Community Legal Center has provided family and humanitarian-based immigration legal services in the Mid-South,” said Community Legal Center executive director Diana Comes. “We look forward to welcoming our new Afghan neighbors alongside World Relief Memphis and working with our partners in Welcome South to provide high-quality legal care for these allies.”
Afghans arriving through the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program may be eligible for free legal services through Welcome South. The organization will work to help Afghans maintain lawful status in the U.S., keep work authorizations current, and file applications for asylum and for lawful permanent residence. World Relief Memphis and Welcome South will continue their partnership and campaign until the need is met.
“It is our duty and responsibility to stand by our Afghan Allies as they try to rebuild the lives that they lost when they left their country,” said nonprofit law firm Advocates for Immigrant Rights executive director Casey Bryant.
World Relief Memphis and Welcome South are encouraging the Memphis community to join together in an effort to bring hope, healing, and restoration to Memphis’s new Afghan neighbors. Learn more about donating and getting involved at https://welcomesouth.org/about-us/helping-our-afghan-allies/. Learn more about Welcome South at https://welcomesouth.org/.