NEW: The Biden administration is taking an unprecedented step to resettle the 55,600 Afghan evacuees from the US military bases where they've been living for weeks and into permanent homes. Latest: https://t.co/AQk55dHCQk
— Priscilla Alvarez (@priscialva) October 23, 2021
… The move marks the biggest change to the resettlement program since 1980, when the modern-day infrastructure for admitting refugees was put in place.
The resettlement challenge has dogged the administration since the frenzied evacuation from Afghanistan in August: resettling tens of thousands of people — many of whom worked with or on behalf of the US — within only weeks or months. The abrupt arrival of evacuees strained already-overwhelmed refugee resettlement agencies and left both the administration and organizations scrambling to find permanent homes in a housing crunch.
Now, to increase options to evacuees, the Biden administration is launching a program that would allow veterans with ties to Afghans, as well as others, the opportunity to bring them to their cities and serve as a support network as they get their lives started in the US, former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell told CNN.
“This is just an amazing opportunity to, frankly, do what our veterans have been asking us to do, which is provide a safe and dignified welcome to Afghans who served by our side in Afghanistan, and who now want to build their own lives here,” said Markell, a Democrat and the temporary point person overseeing the Afghan evacuee resettlement effort for the administration.
Veterans, who have worked closely with Afghans who fled Afghanistan fearing reprisals from the Taliban for their work with the US, underscored the significance of pairing evacuees with people with shared lived experiences…