US & World

Explainer: What is happening to the evacuation of Afghanistan? | Nationwide

Washington (AP) — More than 70,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the largest US airlift in history since the Taliban occupied the capital of Afghanistan on August 14. The pace has picked up lately, but it’s still a chaotic scramble as people are trying to escape. Afghans trying to reach Kabul Airport are facing a dangerous gauntlet and far more people want to leave than they can. Those who have achieved it will face many resettlement challenges in the United States or elsewhere. And I’m running out of time. President Joe Biden has set a deadline of 31 August to complete a US-led evacuation.

Let’s see where the situation is.

How did we get here?

President Donald Trump signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in February 2020 as part of an effort to end what is called the “endless war” in the Middle East. He agreed to deport all troops by the deadline of May 1. Biden, who said he didn’t want to endanger the lives of Americans in the civil war between Afghanistan, maintained his withdrawal plan but extended the deadline to September. The Taliban soon took control of most of the country as the United States withdrew air support to Afghan troops. Afghans rushed to the airport hoping to leave the country for fear of retaliation and the harsh control of the Taliban.

Who is out of the country?

The 70,000 evacuees include more than 4,000 American citizens and their families, as well as a limited number of Afghans who have obtained a limited number of special immigrant visas for those who worked as interpreters or other qualifications in the United States or NATO. included. The United States is also evacuating Afghanistan, along with direct families who have applied for visas but have not yet received them, and those who are particularly at risk from the Taliban. This includes people who worked for government, members of civil society, journalists, and human rights activists.

Where are they going?

People who are already legal US residents, including American citizens and those who have been granted a special immigrant visa, can usually proceed to the United States after a stopover in Qatar or other Gulf countries. Afghans who have applied for a special visa but have not yet received it, or who are trying to enter the United States as refugees, will first be the first European or Asian “transit hub” for security inspections by US intelligence and law enforcement authorities. You need to go to. White House.

After screening, they will be sent to the United States and detained at military bases in Virginia, New Jersey, Texas, and Wisconsin until the application is complete and they can be resettled. The White House states that everyone will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in the United States. It is unknown how long it will take to process people at a military base.

In addition, at least 13 countries, including Uganda, Rwanda, Costa Rica and Albania, have agreed to temporarily detain Afghan refugees until resettlement is possible.

Bill Frelick, Head of Refugee and Immigration Rights at Human Rights Watch, said:

Has this ever happened?

Although the scale and speed of this airlift is unprecedented, the United States has a history of accepting refugees from foreign conflicts. The United States airlifted about 7,000 people in the fall of Saigon in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War, and eventually accepted more than 100,000 refugees from Southeast Asia. In 1996, after then-President Saddam Hussein regained control of the region, the United States evacuated approximately 5,000 Kurds and other Iraqi minorities from northern Iraq.

In 1999, about 20,000 victims of Yugoslavian “ethnic cleansing” against Albanians in Kosovo were brought to the United States as refugees and temporarily detained for disposal in Fort Dix, New Jersey. The United States has accepted more than 3.1 million refugees since 1980. ..

How do Afghans get used to their new life in the United States?

Nine nonprofit resettlements, including the Japan Disaster Relief Team and the US Catholic Bishops’ Council, Work to help refugees. When they are placed in a new city, they usually receive food and housing assistance for the first 90 days, but are expected to be self-sufficient. They are picked up at the airport and taken to a new home, usually an apartment.

Nonprofits, run on a combination of government grants and private donations, help them find and adapt to their jobs. “People are threatened, nervous and have all those emotions, but I think they’re excited too. People come back to feel safe,” he said. Mark Hugger, Dallas Regional Director of Texas Refugee Services, is expected to refund the government for flights to the United States.

How can people help?

In addition to donations, groups supporting refugee resettlement need volunteers to meet families, build apartments and face new cultures at the airport.

For example, the Japan Disaster Relief Team states that in addition to donations, donated furniture, groceries, and baby items can be used.

Hagar said the agency was encouraged by the influx of volunteers in response to what happened in Afghanistan. He said about 300 people attended a weekend volunteer training session, which usually involves about 50 people.

Didn’t this process start earlier?

Congressmen and others have long complained about the length of time and bureaucratic hurdles required for former interpreters and others working to obtain visas in the United States. Under the Trump administration, the number of refugees admitted to the United States was also reduced, the process was even slower, and the outbreak of COVID-19 effectively stopped it.

As the US withdrawal approaches this summer, Mr Sullivan said the US has postponed a major evacuation at the request of the Afghan government. But he said that starting earlier would have inevitably caused airport turmoil.

“This operation is complicated. It’s dangerous. There are challenges in operations, logistics, humans, etc. And it created the burning image of pain and despair,” he said. “But there was no such operation, and evacuation from the civil war-stricken capital could not have been possible without these images.”

———

Stengle contributed this report from Dallas.



Explainer: What is happening to the evacuation of Afghanistan? | Nationwide

Source link Explainer: What is happening to the evacuation of Afghanistan? | Nationwide

Related Articles

Back to top button