Image

6:41 PM / Saturday July 13, 2024

6 Aug 2021

Citing Taliban violence, US expands Afghan refugee program

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
August 6, 2021 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a demonstrations against the US government, in front of the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday, July 22, to allow in thousands more of the Afghans who worked alongside Americans in the Afghanistan war, citing the urgency of protecting those on-the-ground allies from Taliban retaliation as the U.S. military withdrawal enters its final weeks. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

By Matthew Lee

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday expanded its efforts to evacuate at-risk Afghan citizens from Afghanistan as Taliban violence increases ahead of the U.S. military pullout at the end of the month.

The State Department said it is widening the scope of Afghans eligible for refugee status in the United States to include current and former employees of U.S.-based news organizations, U.S.-based aid and development agencies and other relief groups that receive U.S. funding. Current and former employees of the U.S. government and the NATO military operation who don’t meet the criteria for a dedicated program for such workers are also covered.

The State Department said the move will mean that “many thousands” of Afghans and their immediate families will now have the opportunity to be permanently resettled in the U.S. as refugees. It did not offer a more specific number of those who might be eligible for the program.

“The U.S. objective remains a peaceful, secure Afghanistan,” it said in a statement. “However, in light of increased levels of Taliban violence, the U.S. government is working to provide certain Afghans, including those who worked with the United States, the opportunity for refugee resettlement to the United States.”

The creation of a “Priority 2” category for Afghans within the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is intended for Afghans and their immediate families who “may be at risk due to their U.S. affiliation” but aren’t able to get a Special Immigrant Visa because they did not work directly for the U.S. government or didn’t hold their government jobs long enough.

To qualify for the Priority 2 category, Afghans must be nominated by a U.S. government agency or by the most senior civilian U.S. citizen employee of a U.S-based media outlet or nongovernmental organization.

The first group of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants — most of whom served as translators or did other work for U.S. troops or diplomats — who have cleared security vetting arrived in the U.S. on Friday. That group of 221 people are among 2,500 who will be brought to the U.S. in the coming days.

Another 4,000 SIV applicants, plus their families, who have not yet cleared the security screening are expected to be relocated to third countries ahead of the completion of the U.S. withdrawal. Roughly 20,000 Afghans have expressed interest in the program.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Color Of Money

Start in the attic to keep your home and energy budget cool

July 7, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Is your home ready for what may be another historically warm summer season? According...

Philly NAACP

June 30, 2024

June 22, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia Judicial Primary Candidates At A Glance Guide Philadelphia Judicial Candidates...

Health

Top OB-GYN reveals easy tips for reproductive health and wellness

July 2, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Taking care of your sexual and reproductive health is an important part of your...

Travel

The Lincoln Highway is your next great road trip

July 2, 2024

Tweet Email BPT You’ve probably heard of Route 66 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, but do you...

SUNrise

cj speaks…Trusting in God

May 19, 2024

Tweet Email Life is filled with so many choices, opportunities, and decisions. Sometimes it is so overwhelming,...

Home and Garden

Elevate your outdoor retreat with 4 innovative hardscaping designs

July 6, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Summer is here — it’s time to consider how you’ll use your outdoor spaces...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff