The final batch of refugees coming in from Afghanistan and awaiting resettlement at the 8 military installations in America finally departed on Saturday from bases across the country. It was the culmination of a voyage that began with the frenzied August evacuation from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
The Afghan refugees received assistance from resettlement organizations. They were evacuated after Afghanistan fell to the marauding Taliban even as the Americans were in the final stage of withdrawal.
The Afghan refugees started leaving the bases in recent weeks, and have begun relocating within their communities across the US.
They were evacuated under Operation Allies Welcome, the US welcomed in around 76,000 Afghans. It is the largest relocation of refugees that the country went through in decades.
The CEO and president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Krish Vignarajah termed the arrival and resettlement of refugees an important milestone. Se applauded what she said was the Herculean effort of the American men and women in uniform who worked tirelessly to face the challenges.
Krish stressed that the neighbors would continue to need American friendship and support over a sustained period of months, and even years. She stressed that the challenges were there to stay and would not disappear soon.
Thousands More Afghan Refugees To Be Admitted Over The Next Year
The US has said it planned to admit many more refugees over the year. However, they would arrive in small groups and be accommodated in facilities whose location hasn’t been determined, according to Homeland Security sources.
In the interim period, the refugees’ housing facilities located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix_Lakehurst in New Jersey would remain open. This base was the largest holding point for Afghan refugees and had around 14,500 of them at one point. Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy was the next largest and saw off the last of the refugees stationed there last week.
The refugees located at the base underwent health screening and immigration procedures as they remained stationed at the bases. Most of them have been moved to existing communities in Washington and Northern Virginia. They have also moved to Northern California and Texas.