More than 100 non-governmental groups demanded that the Biden administration evacuate tens of thousands of Afghan allies still stranded in the country, according to a letter posted by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Monday.
The groups asked for all Afghans who are at-risk because of their collaboration with U.S. forces to be evacuated from the country before the Taliban retaliates against them, according to the letter. The document was signed by 103 organizations, including humanitarian, refugee, immigration and veterans affairs groups.
“All are now bound by their shared fear for their safety,” according to the letter. “If the White House does not move to evacuate them with haste, it will leave an indelible stain on this Administration’s stated commitment to a foreign policy centered on human rights and its repeated commitments to support at-risk Afghans.”
The groups also asked the Biden administration to explain its plan to process Afghan allies who aren’t eligible for Special Immigrant Visas, according to the letter.
“We are disappointed by the Biden Administration’s overly narrow list of priority stakeholders for evacuation, which currently includes only: American citizens, legal permanent residents (LPRs), immediate family members of American citizens and LPRs, U.S. Embassy staff, and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants with Chief-of-Mission approval,” the letter read.
Ordinary Americans have donated frequent flyer miles and credit card points towards flights for Afghan allies who were evacuated to the U.S. so they can resettle in communities around the country, the Associated Press reported on Oct. 26. Allies were able to leave Afghanistan, and around 53,000 of them are staying at temporary housing facilities on eight U.S. military bases.
Around 30,000 Afghans are expected to apply for refugee status in the U.S. in the next year, according to the AP. Some 340 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan since U.S. forces withdrew in mid-August, CNN Politics reported on Sunday.
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