US expects to confess greater than 50,000 evacuated Afghans
WASHINGTON — At least 50,000 Afghans are anticipated to be admitted into the United States following the autumn of Kabul as a part of a long-lasting dedication” to help people who aided the American war effort and others who are particularly vulnerable under Taliban rule, the secretary of homeland security said Friday.
Tens of thousands of Afghans have already made it through security vetting and arrived in the U.S. to begin the process of resettlement. Exactly how many more will come and how long it will take remain open questions, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said as he outlined the effort.
Our commitment is an enduring one, he told reporters. This is not just a matter of the next several weeks. We will not rest until we have accomplished the ultimate goal.
Mayorkas and other Biden administration officials are providing the most detailed look to date at what began as a frantic and chaotic effort to evacuate U.S. citizens, permanent residents and Afghans before the Aug. 30 withdrawal of American troops and the end of the country’s longest war.
Jack Markell, former governor of Delaware, will serve as coordinator of what the White House is calling Operation Allies Welcome. He will work alongside the National Security Council, Domestic Policy Council, DHS, and other federal agencies to ensure vulnerable Afghans who pass screening and vetting reviews are safely and efficiently resettled here in the United States, said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House principal deputy press secretary. The appointment is expected to run through the end of the year.
Mayorkas said there have been some evacuees who have been stopped at transit countries because of derogatory information, though he provided no details. It is unclear what happens to any Afghans who don’t make it through the security screening at the overseas transit points, though the secretary said the U.S. is working with its allies to address the issue.
More than 40,000 have arrived in the U.S. so far. Mayorkas said about 20% are either U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The rest are people who have received or are in the process of receiving what’s known as a Special Immigrant Visa for those who worked for the American military or NATO as interpreters or in some other capacity and Afghans considered particularly vulnerable under Taliban rule, such as journalists and employees of nongovernmental organizations.
We have a moral imperative to protect them, to support those who have supported this nation,” mentioned Mayorkas, who as a kid got here to the U.S. as a refugee from Cuba along with his circle of relatives.
While he mentioned the U.S. anticipated to confess no less than 50,000 Afghans, he instructed there was once no set restrict or a selected time period.
Our venture isn’t achieved till we have now safely evacuated all U.S. electorate who need to depart Afghanistan or lawful everlasting citizens, all people who have assisted the United States in Afghanistan, he mentioned. This effort is not going to finish till we succeed in that function.
Though the U.S. airlift has ended, Taliban officers have mentioned they might permit other folks with legitimate shuttle papers to go away, and so they would possibly really feel forced to not back off as they search to proceed receiving international support and run the federal government.
Most of the Afghans who’ve arrived within the U.S. are being housed on army bases across the nation, receiving clinical remedy, help with filing immigration programs and different products and services aimed toward serving to them settle within the nation.
There have been greater than 25,000 Afghan evacuees at 8 bases with capability for two times as many, mentioned Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, who heads U.S. Northern Command.
The numbers at every base are anticipated to range however, as of Friday, the approximate totals have been: Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, 8,800; Fort Bliss, Texas, 6,200; Fort Lee, Virginia, 1,700; Joint Base McGuireDixLakehurst, 3,700; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, 650; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, 800; Fort Pickett, Virginia, 3,650 and Camp Atterbury, Indiana, 65.
So some distance, few of the Afghans at bases have examined sure examined sure for COVID-19 and there were no safety issues, however VanHerck mentioned the army has designated an officer to behave as a mayor of the rising communities.
Im development 8 small towns, have been going to have demanding situations, he instructed journalists on the Pentagon.
Associated Press author Lolita C. Baldor contributed. Knickmeyer reported from Oklahoma City.