Idaho Brought Hundreds Of Afghans To Safety. Will They Be Allowed To Stay? – 1 of 3 FILE – In this Friday, April 30, 2021 photo, former Afghan interpreters hold flags during a protest against the US government and NATO in Kabul, Afghanistan. As US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, pressure is mounting on the Biden administration to plan to demobilize Afghans who supported US military operations during the country’s twenty-year war. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)1 of 3 FILE – In this Friday, April 30, 2021 photo, former Afghan interpreters hold flags during a protest against the US government and NATO in Kabul, Afghanistan. As US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, pressure is mounting on the Biden administration to plan to demobilize Afghans who supported US military operations during the country’s twenty-year war. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, file)
San Diego (AP) – In the final turbulent hours of the Vietnam War, the United States expelled thousands of Vietnamese from South America who supported the American mission and were at risk under the communist government.
Idaho Brought Hundreds Of Afghans To Safety. Will They Be Allowed To Stay?
As U.S. and NATO forces prepare to leave Afghanistan on September 11, many are recalling that desperate, swift exodus as they urge the Biden administration to evacuate thousands of Afghans who have served as translators or helped with another way in the last twenty years. Operation of the United States Army. .
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Despite rare bipartisan support from Congress, the administration has refused to agree to such a measure and has refused to publicly support anything that would threaten public security after the war began. ‘of the 9/11 attacks continues.
“We have a responsibility to protect our brave allies who have put their lives on the line for us, and we have worked for months to communicate with the administration and ensure that there is a plan with minimal concrete consequences. ,” said Rep. Peter, a Republican. Meyer of Michigan said in a House hearing last week.
Lawmakers have urged the administration to consider temporarily relocating Afghans serving in US or NATO forces to a safe place overseas while US visas are processed. Others have suggested Guam, a US territory that served a similar purpose after the Vietnam War. In 1996, after the Gulf War, Kurdish refugees were also taken to the Pacific island.
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The Governor of Guam recently wrote to President Joe Biden that the territory is ready to help if needed.
Currently, the Biden administration is focusing on resources to speed up a special visa program for Afghans that helps the US process and eases the backlog.
“We are operating and evacuating people at a record pace,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “We are currently working with Congress to improve the requirements that limit this process and are developing a comprehensive plan to move if necessary.”
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Members of Congress are expected to raise the issue on Friday, when Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in Washington to meet with Biden and lawmakers.
Zalmaj Khalilzad, the State Department’s special envoy for Afghanistan reconstruction, warned lawmakers in May that “the departure of all trained Afghans” would “shock” and demoralize the country’s security forces.
Representative Jason Crowe, Democrat of Colorado, recently introduced legislation that would nearly double the number of visas to 8,000 this year and ease eligibility requirements.
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Even if the bill is passed immediately, the number of visas would be far less than the 18,000 Afghans waiting to be processed. This number does not include their spouses and children, which is about 70,000 people.
And the average wait is more than three years. This process has also been complicated by the coronavirus epidemic, which is why the US Embassy in Afghanistan has suspended visa negotiations.
Crowe, a former Army general who served in Afghanistan, said he would prefer that the government “move our Afghan partners to a temporary resettlement facility where we can run the visa process through a safe way without the Taliban compromising the security of the applicants.”
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In a statement this month, the Taliban vowed not to attack those who serve Western interests, urged Afghans to stay home and warned their groups against revenge killings.
However, many Afghans are desperate for visas because they fear not only Taliban violence but also armed warlords aligned with the United States, and see this as their last chance. of leaving Afghanistan.
The American withdrawal began on May 1, when the number of American troops ranged from 2,500 to 3,500, and could be completed by July 4. About 7,000 NATO troops will leave on September 11.
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Independent Maine Senator Angus King said the government needs to find a “creative” way to help Afghans in partnership with the US military. That could include sending more people from the State Department or the military to arrange visas for Afghanistan or moving people to a safe place where they will be vetted.
“It’s not just a moral issue, it’s a national security issue,” said King, who also sits on the intelligence and military services committees, adding that “we also have an operational responsibility whether we want the future to help us.”
According to No One Left Behind, more than 300 translators have been killed in Afghanistan since 2016.
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Matt Zeller, a former Army general, said military evacuation is the only viable option for thousands of Afghans who face threats and are protected by the presence of US forces.
“I’m only alive because my Afghan Muslim translator saved my life by killing two Taliban fighters who were trying to kill me in battle,” said Zeller, whose translator waited three years for of visa.
The US government should have learned from what happened in Vietnam, said Jim Jones, a Vietnam veteran and chief justice of the Idaho Supreme Court.
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Initially worried that the mass exodus would damage the South Vietnamese military, the United States watched for weeks as the North Vietnamese army occupied South Vietnam before beginning to expel the Americans and their allies. This effort resulted in the largest helicopter evacuation in history in the last hours of the war.
In less than 24 hours, Marine helicopters transported nearly 7,000 American soldiers from South Vietnam who were supporting the American mission and their families.
Many of the remaining South Vietnamese soldiers and government officials were killed or held in “re-education” camps. They included the forces that helped Jones survive as a military officer.
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“We had a responsibility to get as many out as we could, but instead we left them to a terrible fate,” Jones wrote in the Military Times. “We cannot allow this kind of tragedy to happen to Afghans again.” I pray that this great nation will never turn its back on the suffering people who trusted us.”
Pentagon leaders told lawmakers on Wednesday they were prepared to move if ordered to, though they sought to downplay concerns that history would repeat itself.
“I don’t see Saigon in 1975 Afghanistan,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers recently.
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Fox reports from Washington. Associate Correspondents Lolita C. Baldor and Joshua Boak in Washington and Kathi Gannon in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.
M Afghanistan last year and are awaiting a decision by the US Congress on whether to grant him permanent residency in the US Gracieuk Baraka Courtesy of the Truman Center for National Policy.
Children and young children roamed the halls of the Idaho Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa on an Aug. 18, Idaho Capital Sun reporter Audrey Dutton reports. They came from a crowded banquet hall where their parents and their families were eating, enjoying fresh baklava and tea, and talking about their first home in Afghanistan and their home in currently in Idaho.
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The dinner was an event organized by several Idaho nonprofits and businesses that support refugee resettlement and members of the local Afghan diaspora.
It was about time, said the organizers. A bill is before Congress that would provide temporary housing to those who fled Afghanistan last year. Holly Beach, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Refugee Protection, said, “Without such a law, many people are frustrated because their personal parole, which allows them to stay in the United States, only lasts for two years “They can apply for asylum, but it can take several years to process.
You can read Dutton’s full story here at idahocapitalsun.com or find it in today’s edition of the Idaho Press.
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An email with password reset instructions has been sent to the email address listed in your account. Idaho brought hundreds of Afghans to safety. Are they allowed to stay? At a dinner in Nampa, refugees and displaced people broke bread with American soldiers
Dozens of Afghan refugees, members of the Afghan diaspora, US military personnel and others gathered for a joint dinner in Nampa. Others were
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