Monday Aug 02, 2021
The US State Department on Monday announced that Afghans associated with the US government will be given the chance to resettle as refugees under the Priority Two programme in the United States.
The State Department said it will expand eligibility of refugee admissions beyond the Special Immigrant Visa and set up a “Priority Two” refugee programme for Afghans who were affiliated with the US.
Priority Two is the same level given to persecuted minorities from a number of countries.
The decision comes in light of the increasing Taliban violence as the US withdraws its troops from Afghanistan, specifically those that may be at risk because of their US affiliation.
"This designation expands the opportunity to permanently resettle in the United States to thousands of Afghans and their immediate family members who may be at risk due to their US affiliation," the State Department said.
Under the Priority Two refugee programme, Afghans who have worked with US media or non-governmental organisations will be given the opportunity to resettle.
The refugee programme will also cater to Afghans who have worked on projects backed by US funding.
The State Department further stated that they will allow Afghans who have served as interpreters or have held support roles to US-led coalition forces.
President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by 11th September 2021.
With the Taliban going on the offence, the Biden government acknowledged the fears for the stability of the Afghan government. It, however, did insist that the US has done all it could within the country to eliminate Al-Qaeda responsible for September 11, 2001 attacks.