- The US is planning to take in more than 50,000 Afghans fleeing the Taliban, a DHS official said.
- So far, more than 23,000 Afghans have resettled in the US.
- Each evacuee could receive up to $2,275 for food, housing, or other necessities like school.
The United States is expecting to take in at least 50,000 Afghans fleeing the Taliban, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Each refugee could get up to $2,275 from the federal government to support resettlement needs, Bloomberg reported.
Ahead of President Joe Biden’s initial August 31 deadline to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban swept the country, culminating in a complete takeover by mid-August. Just days before the Taliban began its takeover, Biden said in a press briefing that “the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”
But as the Taliban encroached on the capital city of Kabul, the situation quickly evolved into a crisis. Photos and videos showed Afghans scrambling to leave the country and packing into cargo planes. Some footage showed Afghans clinging to and falling from a moving plane at the Kabul airport.
Since the takeover, the Biden administration has been trying desperately to evacuate Americans and fearful Afghans out of the country.
As of Wednesday, more than 23,000 Afghans have arrived to the US since evacuations from Kabul began, Axios reported. The Biden administration appointed former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell to oversee Afghan resettlement in the US.
The State Department has allocated funds to support Afghan resettlement in the United States. A department official told Bloomberg each evacuee could receive up to $2,275 to be spent on food, housing, or other necessities like enrolling children in school.
“Our commitment is an enduring one,” Mayorkas told reporters on Friday. “This is not just a matter of the next several weeks. We will not rest until we have accomplished the ultimate goal.”
Once Afghans arrive, they will have up to a year to apply for a permanent visa. Some companies have made efforts to support evacuation from Afghanistan. Airbnb, for example, set aside temporary housing for 20,000 displaced Afghans.