Friday, October 1, 2021

Hundreds of Afghan refugees walk away from US military bases to parts unknown rather than complete resettlement process – reports — RT

Hundreds of Afghan refugees walk away from US military bases

 More than 700 Afghan refugees have reportedly left the American military bases where they were being hosted after being evacuated from their country, finding their own way in the US rather than awaiting resettlement services.

More than 300 of the so-called “independent departures” have occurred at just one base – Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas – Reuters reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources. Fort Bliss is one of eight domestic bases where the Biden administration has hosted 53,000 Afghans who fled their country on US evacuation flights.

Many of the evacuees were brought to the US under a temporary “humanitarian parole” status. Resettlement agencies have been contracted by the US State Department to help provide the refugees with a smooth transition to living in America. In fact, hundreds have already been resettled in such cities as Houston and Sacramento, California.

Reuters framed the independent departures as concerning because the refugees might not receive all the government benefits that could be available to them and might set themselves up for problems with their immigration paperwork. But the phenomenon also raises safety concerns, as Biden administration officials previously said the refugees would undergo medical and security checks – as well as Covid-19 vaccinations – while being housed on US bases.

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