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  • Kabul's international airport continues to be overwhelmed

  • with people trying to flee Afghanistan since the Taliban took over the capital on August 15th.

  • As scenes of desperation have played out, the Taliban have threatened to block Afghans

  • from leaving the country, while President Biden has doubled down on his deadline

  • for when U.S. troops are scheduled to leave the country.

  • - We are currently on a pace to finish by August the 31st, the sooner we can finish the better.

  • Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops.

  • -As the deadline looms, Afghans able to board evacuation flights

  • face long journeys to their host countries, starting a resettlement process with challenges ahead.

  • The path to getting out of the country hasn't been clear.

  • One huge hurdle, documentation.

  • - It sounds like from people that we've interviewed,

  • that it mostly comes down to luck, whether you get into the airport or not.

  • The first few days of the evacuation effort it was kind of so chaotic.

  • They were letting a lot of people in,

  • including people who didn't really have valid visa or travel documents.

  • And now we're kind of seeing the reverse, people even who do have valid American visas

  • are going up to the gates of the airport, waving them at American troops or Canadian troops

  • and still not getting into the airport.

  • - Once they are inside,

  • issues with document verification continue, adding to the bottleneck.

  • - But a lot of cases, you had people with fake, or even no documents,

  • getting into the airport in the first few days,

  • cramming themselves onto planes, getting out of Afghanistan.

  • And now partially because all that happened, the U.S. is really prioritizing getting American citizens

  • and American green card holders through that gate,

  • and it means more Afghans are being left behind.

  • - And there's added urgency, as the Taliban have threatened retaliation

  • against Americans and others if the U.S. remains past the deadline.

  • Late Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy urged

  • Americans outside the airport's gates to leave immediately citing security threats.

  • By that point, the U.S. and its allies had evacuated more than 88,000 people

  • since the Taliban closed in on Kabul on August 14th.

  • Military transport planes have shoveled evacuees to hubs in Qatar, Bahrain, and Germany,

  • with smaller settler hubs receiving evacuees as well.

  • These locations have been setting up temporary beds and tents to receive evacuees

  • who, in some cases, are in the middle of getting their visas to come to the U.S..

  • - They have to go through a pretty rigorous security process

  • that could sometimes take up to a year,

  • and so they'll need to live in those third countries

  • for that duration while they're waiting for their visas to come through.

  • - There are currently a few pathways for entry into the U.S..

  • Evacuees with visas, or those who are in the visa application process can enter.

  • People who don't have visas are often sent to a third country

  • while a security screening is completed.

  • Those who work for an American non-profit or media organization,

  • or individuals facing political, religious, or ethnic persecution can enter as refugees.

  • There's also a fourth option, an immigration program known as parole,

  • which gives evacuees temporary permission to live and work in the U.S..

  • Once they're in the country, they can apply for asylum,

  • possibly get sponsorship from family,

  • or wait for their visa to come through.

  • Those arriving in the U.S.

  • are initially being housed in military bases in New Jersey,

  • Virginia, Wisconsin, and Texas,

  • while other bases may eventually receive evacuees as well.

  • - They're kind of being used as reception centers in some cases,

  • we have to do medical screenings on them before they can get their visas.

  • In some cases, they're just being connected

  • with resettlement organizations in the United States

  • who are helping them get connected to services here.

  • - Many of these resettlement organizations are contracted with the U.S. government.

  • The groups help evacuees find a place to live and enroll their children in schools

  • with the aim of integrating them into American life.

  • - Anyone who gets here has been through an extremely harrowing experience,

  • and we have to remember, those are the lucky ones.

Kabul's international airport continues to be overwhelmed

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Afghan Evacuees Flee Kabul in Droves: What’s Next for Them | WSJ

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    nao 發佈於 2021 年 09 月 07 日
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