RAICES calls on Secretary of State Blinken to protect the tens of thousands of Afghan people who supported the U.S. mission for two decades and whose lives are now at risk because of the hasty U.S. departure from Afghanistan. Thousands of people traveled to the capitol to pick up their passports which were ready and waiting for them at the US Embassy.
When the State Department evacuated the Embassy, those who were waiting on information about their cases were left to fend for themselves without any protection and no rescue plan. People are hiding in hotels and apartments in Kabul.There is fear the electricity will go out making communication impossible.
Since 2017, RAICES has resettled almost 600 individuals from Afghanistan through our Reception and Placement program. Many of these Special Immigrant Visa (“SIV”) holders have worked as interpreters or contract support staff alongside U.S. service personnel over the last two decades. They have put their lives on the line and the lives of their families in the hopes of achieving peace for Afghanistan.
Right now, our team is focused on supporting our clients and team members whose family reunification cases are still being processed by the U.S. Department of State. The lives of their spouses, parents and relatives depend on the completion of a few administrative tasks that will enable them to board flights to the U.S.
There are two things that currently mean life or death for thousands of Afghan people: communication with the U.S. Department of State about the status of their reunification cases and the security of the Kabul airport. If our government is unable to secure these two functions, all is potentially lost for them.
We urge the U.S. in the strongest terms possible to continue to process all pending cases and to prioritize the safety and security of the Afghan people along with those U.S. Citizens still living in harm’s way.
Contact: Jessica Ortiz