As the Taliban assert control in Afghanistan, RefugePoint urges the U.S. government to take all action necessary to save the lives of the many thousands of Afghans who worked with U.S. forces, U.S. affiliated non-governmental organizations, and media outlets, and to protect others at particular risk such as human rights defenders, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ people, and others who have been targeted.
Some of these Afghans can potentially relocate to the U.S. through the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program, Humanitarian Parole, and a new U.S. resettlement category for certain refugees from Afghanistan. The U.S. must act with the utmost urgency to increase the pace of these pathways to safety, which are insufficient, too narrow, and slow to address the emergency needs brought on by the U.S. withdrawal.
RefugePoint staff are helping refugees from Afghanistan who have already fled the country to resettle to the U.S., Canada, and the European Union. Our focus has been on unaccompanied children, reuniting families, and those in immediate danger.
The long-term conflict in Afghanistan has already led to 2.8 million refugees. Some have been refugees for 40 years and have seen a third generation born into exile. The crisis of displacement in Afghanistan is one of the largest and most protracted in recent history.
In this moment of peril, relocation to the U.S. is necessary to save lives now. But, for the vast majority of Afghan refugees stuck for decades in Pakistan, Iran, and nearby countries, opportunities to become self-reliant must be another matter of operational urgency for the global community.
While we resettle those in life-threatening situations, RefugePoint is also working to create new opportunities for self-reliance for Afghan and other refugees around the world so that they can rebuild their lives in dignity.
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