Excerpted From: Joana Jankulla, The United States Can Protect Those Who Suffer Humanitarian Emergencies: How and Why Immigration Policy Should Be Amended to Assist Crisis Migrants, 57 New England Law Review 237 (Spring, 2023) (409 Footnotes) (Full Document Requested)


JoanaJankullaIn times of humanitarian crisis, migration ensues. This migration is often a result of multiple factors that have built up over time and exploded during a pivotal moment. In the summer of 2021, Haiti suffered multiple humanitarian emergencies: a presidential assassination, an earthquake, and a tropical storm. While these crises caused an uptick in migration, decades of political strife, meddling, and poor disaster management made these crises exponentially worse. This migration led Haitian migrants to the Southern Border as they sought stability in the United States. The photos of border patrol officers on horseback violently attacking Haitians circulated the United States. These cruel and horrific scenes showcased the U.S. agents' treatment of the migrants as they fled the humanitarian emergency in their country.

In the summer of 2021, Afghanistan's government collapsed as the Taliban took over following the departure of U.S. presence. While this crisis caused a surge in migration, it was more accurately the culmination of decades of military occupation coupled with an unstable government. Again, images of Afghan nationals trying to force their way out of the country surfaced--hoping to end up on flight manifests and escape the repressive Taliban regime. The United States' subsequent attempts to maintain a calm exit received backlash as chaos persisted. Ultimately, while some found a way out, many could not and remain living in fear.

Immigration policy in the United States is highly discretionary when it comes to addressing humanitarian emergencies. This Note will argue short-and long-term solutions that should be implemented in the United States to assist crisis migrants during times of humanitarian emergencies. First, this Note will discuss that in the short-term, Humanitarian Parole and Temporary Protected Status should be implemented to assist in immediate temporary protections for at-risk migrants. Then, this Note will argue that in addition to policies that assist in the short-term, there must also be long-term policy changes that allow migrants to become permanent residents. Finally, this Note will determine the reasons why Adjustment Acts should be passed during times of humanitarian emergencies.

Part I of this Note provides information on immigration policy in the United States. Furthermore, Part I gives a history of Afghanistan and Haiti. Part II gives reasons why the United States should develop a streamlined approach in dealing with humanitarian emergencies. Part III outlines short-term, temporary immigration solutions that should be established when dealing with humanitarian emergencies. Finally, Part IV explains why the United States should offer long-term immigration solutions to crisis migrants fleeing emergencies in their home country.

[. . .]

The time has come for the United States to implement a clear and equal plan to address humanitarian emergencies. As a major international player, the United States has an obligation to help crisis migrants in times of need. Picture the United States in the future, working towards aiding migrants rather than turning away or putting limits on how many are welcome. With Afghanistan, many migrants were left behind and continue to fear the Taliban to this day. With Haiti, many migrants were forced back and continue to fear the violence and instability in their country. The United States has an obligation to assist these migrants directly, and in the future, to implement solutions for dealing with humanitarian emergencies so inequalities no longer occur. In the short-term, HP and TPS will give migrants immediate temporary protection in the United States. In the long-term, a pathway to LPR status must be given to these migrants as precedent shows it can and should be done. The United States must understand the urgency of humanitarian situations, offer protection to migrants, and ensure this protection will last.

J.D., New England Law | Boston (2023). B.A., Classical Studies with high honors & Language and Linguistics, Brandeis University (2018).