SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A coalition of local organizations held a press conference Monday at the Matsui Federal Building Monday calling on the federal government to process and grant humanitarian parole applications for the thousands of Afghan people still trapped in Afghanistan. They said the federal government is not working hard enough or quickly enough.

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Ruth Ibarra with NorCal Resist explained just how little has been done.

“In total, I believe there’s been over 30,000 applications submitted to the U.S. government and about .5% of those have been processed,” she said.

However, the actual number is over 43,000 applications submitted. NorCal Resist said, of those processed, less than 200 have been granted.

Waheed Rahimi, the community outreach representative with CAIR Sacramento, the Council on American Islamic Relations, said Afghans are being persecuted for promoting democracy.

“We, the Council on American Islamic relations, are calling for the Biden Administration to live up to the promises that have been made to the Afghan people and to create a meaningful pathway for admission to the United States,” Rahimi said.

Josh Kaizuka, president of the Japanese American Citizens League, said it’s a moral imperative the U.S. act because Afghans earned it.

“They helped this country fight against the Taliban, and the promises that were made were that we were going to protect them,” he said.

Kaizuka also explained what it’s like for Afghans day to day.

“They’re living in fear. Family members are being targeted because of their support of the US government,” he said.

Hannah Bichkoff with NorCal resist explained why its more important in Sacramento than anywhere else.

“Statistically, Sacramento resettles more Afghan refugees than anywhere else in the country, and that’s why were were outside congresswoman Doris Matsui’s office this morning,” Bichkoff said.

She said they’ve reached out to nearly every legislator who can make a difference and have seen no movement.

“I know they’re probably doing the best they can, but it’s not good enough when people are literally dying,” Bichkoff said.

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Afghan residents, advocates in Sacramento urge approval of emergency immigration