The U.S. began to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as the U.S. The U.S. military began to withdraw from Afghanistan in summer. This was a result of decades of deployment troops there. In response, thousands of Afghans tried to obtain special visas for American soldiers who had helped them. Knowing that Taliban insurgents were going to target them, they feared for the safety of their lives.
Now, given the rapid speed at which the Taliban seized cities across the country and captured the capital city Kabul, those Afghans are at the center of a growing refugee crisis. The U.S. plans to evacuate an initial group of approximately 2,500 Afghans, but at least 20,000 Afghans had applied for the special visa as of mid-July, according to the White House.
Many applicants have been stuck in bureaucratic limbo, waiting for visa approval and stymied by unclear or nonexistent communication from U.S. officials. Others face hurdles including safe travel long distances to Kabul and the requirement to pay cash for plane tickets. In a desperate effort to escape Taliban rule, Afghans ran for the airport this week. Some clung to a U.S. military plane as it began to move forward on the tarmac, harrowing imagery that was widely shared on social media.
The Biden administration may be forced to speed up the evacuation of immigrant visa holders by public outrage. It could also force the administration to consider accepting as many refugees as possible who didn’t aid the U.S. military but still fear punishment or death for various reasons, including because they support a democratically-elected government, are a girl or woman who’s sought employment or education, or identify as LGBTQ. The Taliban’s former reign (from 1996 to 2001), the Taliban followed strict Islamist laws that forbade women from studying or working, and considered homosexuality to be a crime.
Although lobbying an elected official may help to address the crisis of Afghan refugees right now, there are still two ways that you can materially assist them:
1. To help refugees get on board a plane, donate cash or airline points
The nonprofit organization Miles4Migrants uses cash, voucher, and airline mile donations to help ferry people affected by conflict and persecution to safety. This nonprofit accepts donations from the public. It works in partnership with many other non-profit and government agencies to meet individual flight requests.
Miles4Migrants posted on Aug. 12 that they were running out of points and cash donations in order to help Afghan refugees.
Human rights lawyer Mai El-Sadany tweeted a thread of local efforts to help resettle Afghan refugees in the U.S. and Canada. Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy’s managing director, legal and judicial directors El-Sadany pointed out initiatives from the Washington, D.C., Seattle, Houston, Fort Worth, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, Fort Worth, Fort Worth, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay, Canada, to help Afghan refugees get housing, basic supplies, and support.
Those who want to donate goods for refugees in their local communities might consider using a neighborhood or regional Facebook Buy Nothing group to crowdsource items.
As the situation changes, there may be more options to materially assist Afghan refugees. Consider this list of support options for Afghans regardless of refugee status, tweeted by Sahdya darr, an immigration policy manager with the Open Rights Group. Her recommendations include supporting female Afghan reporters, sharing information for Afghan human rights supporters about how to delete their digital browsing history, and listening to and amplifying Afghan voices.
Publié at Tue 17 August 2021, 00:37.33 +0000