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Afghans find refuge on-base in America

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Military leaders describe the daily evacuation efforts from Afghanistan, transplanting thousands of refugees into the United States, as ‘fluid and complex.’ It’s unclear where in the country the refugees will put down roots, but they’re beginning their new lives in America on four domestic military bases.

Bringing few belongings with them, thousands of refugees are temporarily living at Fort Lee in Virginia, Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy, Fort Bliss in Texas, and New Jersey’s Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Pentagon spokespeople said efforts are underway with national security and refugee resettlement organizations to help individuals get permanently settled in homes.

”All of this progress stems from the teamwork and professionalism, especially of our inner agencies partners here in the states,” said Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor.

Leaders have not said which areas are most likely to receive the new residents.

The mass evacuation comes in the wake of Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban. The Taliban quickly regained control of the country after the U.S. began withdrawing troops.

Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) said he applauds the efforts of the military personnel to help refugees, but that the mass evacuations adds to the international crises President Joe Biden has on his plate.

”They’re wanting to put them around. The problem is, we have all the crisis at the border nobody wants to talk about anymore,” he said.

As part of the relocation process, White House officials said all evacuees, including Americans, are being flown to “third party countries in Europe and Asia.”

Once there, refuges are undergoing extensive security screenings and being tested for COVID-19 before shipping out for one of the four military bases in the U.S.

White House officials said there is planning underway to offer coronavirus vaccines to refugees.

Pentagon spokespeople said additional military bases may be selected to receive and process refugees.

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