President Biden Must Continue Evacuating All Americans and At-Risk Afghans | LIRS

President Biden Must Continue Evacuating All Americans and At-Risk Afghans

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President Biden Must Continue Evacuating All Americans and At-Risk Afghans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2021
Contact: Timothy Young | tyoung@lirs.org | 443-257-6310
 

Washington D.C. – President Biden has decided not to extend the evacuation from Afghanistan beyond August 31, according to CNN. Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated approximately 58,700 people through the Kabul airport as of today.

Shifting Taliban checkpoints throughout the city, severe crowding around the airport, and chaotic, poorly executed airport gate management that has turned away people eligible for evacuation have impeded access to safety for those fleeing, particularly for the tens of thousands of Afghan allies and their families who have applied for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. First-hand accounts communicated to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service have attested to the continued inability of legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens to enter the airport as well.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service – a national refugee resettlement nonprofit and leading member of the Evacuate Our Allies coalition:

“The United States cannot pat itself on the back for a job half-done. President Biden must continue the evacuation until all U.S. citizens, Afghan allies, and other extremely vulnerable Afghans have reached safety. We swore a sacred oath to protect them – we cannot break it in the eleventh hour.

“This is not about whether it is the right call to withdraw from Afghanistan; it is about the way in which we leave America’s longest war. The U.S. had the time and resources to evacuate our allies and other at-risk groups, yet it squandered the opportunity to do so in an orderly fashion. While the evacuation was late to begin, ending it before the job is done would be an affront to the veterans who entrusted their lives to our Afghan allies, and to the overwhelming majority of Americans who support welcoming refugees.

“We hear their cries. We see their suffering. We will not cease advocating until each and every man, woman, and child in desperate need of safety can reach it. We urge President Biden to honor the humanity of our Afghan neighbors and leverage every possible option to evacuate them, including an extension of the operation.”

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