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May 26, 2023

Operation Recovery, a nonprofit organization focused on the well-being of at-risk Afghans, is issuing an urgent advisory to caution our community against engagement in military actions within foreign conflicts, such as the current situation in Ukraine.

It’s essential to understand that participation in overseas military activities can potentially jeopardize one’s ability to secure a U.S. immigration status in the future. While the allure of such engagements may be strong, the possible legal and immigration consequences can be severe and long-lasting.

Underpinning this issue is a principle of international law: individuals involved in military activities may be disqualified from humanitarian aid. This principle is reflected in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) statements, which underscores that military involvement can result in the denial of assistance from UNHCR or other similar bodies.

Furthermore, participation in such activities could harm influential legislative efforts like the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA). The AAA is a critical law advocating for expanded pathways for at-risk Afghans, and the eligibility for benefits under such acts could be compromised by involvement in military operations.

The recent news concerning recruiting Afghan allies for the conflict in Ukraine is troubling. Efforts to persuade vulnerable individuals into illegal activities or transport to foreign battlegrounds exploit those already in precarious situations and could cause harm far beyond immediate conflict.

Therefore, we urge our allies to think critically about the long-term effects of engaging in foreign military conflicts. Operation Recovery is committed to supporting and guiding our Afghan allies in these challenging times and advocates for solutions that prioritize safety, peace, and respect for international law.