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U.S. expands Afghan refugee program as Taliban violence rises – The Denver Post – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-08-02 16:45:58 –

Washington — Monday’s Biden administration has expanded its efforts to help endangered Afghan citizens escape the Taliban violence as fighting intensifies prior to the withdrawal of US troops at the end of the month.

The Department of State has expanded the scope of Afghans to be eligible for US refugee status, and is currently and of US-based media outlets, US-based aid development agencies, and other US-funded relief groups. He said it would include former employees. Current and former employees of the US Government and NATO military operations that do not meet the standards of a dedicated program for such workers are also covered.

However, this move comes with a big warning that can significantly limit the number of people who can benefit. Applicants need to leave Afghanistan to initiate a arbitrage process that can take 12-14 months in a third country, and the United States does not intend to assist. Their departure or stay there.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged the difficulties the applicant would face, but said the United States remains committed to seeking peaceful and safe Afghanistan.

“This is incredibly difficult,” he told reporters. “It’s difficult at so many levels, it’s hard to pick up and leave everything you know (and) it’s hard to put yourself in a place where you can take advantage of the opportunities that exist to apply for refugee status. And we realize this is the case. Alas, this applies to very difficult situations, especially to the millions of people around the world who are currently in Afghanistan. “

Relief agencies said Monday’s gestures were inadequate, pointing out significant and, in some cases, insurmountable hurdles that successful applicants would face. InterAction, a comprehensive organization for a large number of international relief and development groups, was very important.

“InterAction feels this is unacceptable as some important cross-border checkpoints are currently under Taliban control and Afghan neighbors do not always welcome these individuals and their families.” Said. “Required endangered Afghans to evacuate internationally first before applying for a visa puts Afghans affiliated with the United States even more at risk.”

Nevertheless, the State Department said the move meant that “thousands” of Afghans and their close relatives would have the opportunity to permanently resettle in the United States as refugees they had never had before. .. The department was unable to provide a more specific number of potential qualifications.

“The goal of the United States is still peaceful and safe Afghanistan,” the ministry said in a statement. “But given the rising levels of violence in the Taliban, the U.S. government has provided certain Afghans, including those who have worked with the U.S., with the opportunity to resettle refugees in the U.S. It is working.”

U.S. expands Afghan refugee program as Taliban violence rises – The Denver Post Source link U.S. expands Afghan refugee program as Taliban violence rises – The Denver Post

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