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Afghan evacuees in Montana will get free help filing for asylum

A group of nonprofits and legal experts is collaborating to help Afghan evacuees arriving in Montana file for asylum at no cost.

Within a year of arriving in the United States and before their temporary status expires, Afghan evacuees have to apply for asylum to remain in the U.S.

The Montana Afghan Project — a collective of nonprofits, 50 lawyers from across the state and 27 University of Montana law students — came together to help Afghans in Montana through the application process.

Mary Poole is the executive director of Soft Landing Missoula, an organization that assists refugees and immigrants.

“It’s extremely expensive to go through this process with an attorney. It’s inaccessible for many without the pro bono help that’s being offered by this group,” she says.

100 Afghan nationals are set to arrive in Montana over the next few months, and 87 people are already here.

The Montana Afghan Project will start working with Afghan evacuees this week.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.