Former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a demonstration against the U.S. government in front of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 25. The interpreters and their families face death threats from the increasingly powerful Taliban.
In this June 25, 2021 photo, former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a demonstrations against the US government, in front of the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Biden administration says it will evacuate about 2,500 Afghans who worked for the U.S. government and their families to a military base in Virginia pending approval of their visas. The administration notified Congress on Monday that the Afghans will be housed at the Fort Lee Army base south of Richmond starting next week.
The Biden administration said Monday it would evacuate about 2,500 Afghans who worked for the U.S. government and their families to a military base in Virginia pending approval of their visas.
WASHINGTON (AP) — About 2,500 Afghans who worked for the U.S. government will be evacuated to a military base in Virginia along with their families pending approval of their visas, the Biden administration said Monday as the administration rapidly moves to complete the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
Members of Congress have expressed alarm about the fate of Afghans who worked for the U.S. over the past 20 years, particularly as the Taliban have stepped up military operations against the Afghan government, seizing control of major portions of the country as U.S. troops withdraw.
The Afghans will be temporarily housed at Fort Lee, a sprawling Army base south of Richmond starting next week, according to a Defense Department notice sent to Congress. The administration announced earlier this month that it would soon begin relocating Afghan visa seekers under an initiative known as “Operation Allies Refuge.”
The group includes 700 Afghans who worked for the U.S. and roughly 1,800 family members.
“These are brave Afghans and their families, as we have said, whose service to the United States has been certified by the embassy in Kabul, and who have completed thorough security vetting processes,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby declined to say when the first applicants would arrive at Fort Lee but said they are expected to stay only several days before being resettled by the State Department and refugee assistance groups. Kirby said it is possible the Pentagon will offer additional domestic military bases for similar use depending on the pace of relocations.