In a statement, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) President Krish O’Mara Vignarajah described the announcement by the Biden government as “a decisive step forward in fulfilling the promise we have made to our Afghan allies who are loyal to our mission have served. The danger to which they and their families are exposed in their service cannot be overestimated. We are curious to see how this long overdue evacuation can be meaningfully operationalized. “
“Unfortunately there are still far too many questions unanswered, including who exactly and how many people can be evacuated,” she continued. “Given the partners who estimate that 49% of people at risk live outside of Kabul, how will those outside the capital have access to security? And to which countries are they being evacuated? We have serious concerns about the protection of the human rights of our allies in countries considered potential partners in these efforts. “
It also remains very unclear exactly where Afghan allies and their families will go while they await visa processing.
US military bases in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were reported as opportunities, and earlier this month Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan more recently. During an address last week, President Biden said: Operation Allies Refuge “has identified US facilities outside the continental United States and in third countries to host our Afghan allies.” Refugee lawyers have urged the president to bring allies and their families to Guam. who has agreed to help MSNBC reports.
TY, @maddow, for your continued coverage. @mattczeller is right, the administration must be held accountable. We also urgently need answers to important questions about who is being evacuated to where. We still don’t know how to protect allies outside of Kabul. https://t.co/BxR7OUP0PB
– Jill Marie Bussey (@JillMBussey) July 15, 2021
In his address last week, the President said said our nation’s message to the allies and their families: “[t]Here is a home for you in the United States, if you so choose, and we will stand by you as you stood by us. ”You deserve security here for all your victims as soon as possible – and US organizations already have a history of support for Afghan allies. In just one example, Prism recently reported on Integrated Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS) in New Haven, Connecticut that helped relocate former translator Mohammad Daad Serweri in 2017.
“It was your employees who gave us a warm welcome,” said Serweri in the report. “Before we arrived, they had secured us an apartment with all the furniture and household items we needed.” Serweri supported the US armed forces for four years until life there became “unsustainable,” the report said. “He has been the target of death threats from people likely to be linked to the Taliban who opposed the work of the US armed forces.”
“We continue to call for the rapid evacuation of Afghan allies to places that respect fundamental rights and ensure the safety of Afghans who are at risk for supporting the US mission,” continued O’Mara Vignarajah. “We believe the US Territory of Guam offers such assurances as it has historically hosted former evacuations of allies from Vietnam and Iraq. We cannot delegate or outsource our moral and humanitarian obligations when so many lives are at stake. ”