However right here in Sacramento, he’s making ready to assist supply of us refuge and advocating for different U.S. communities to do the identical.
Khuramt runs a Sacramento-based community group for Afghans that acts as an area for Afghans to attach and supply assist for each other. The town is likely one of the main locations for Afghan refugees as a result of the group is welcoming and supportive, he stated. Organizations just like the Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC) and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are lively within the space, providing free companies to help in refugee resettlement. Native mosques, such because the SALAM Islamic Center, additionally assist refugees by offering monetary help via group donations to assist refugees modify to their new life. Khuram stated that as a result of the prevailing Afghan group in Sacramento is already so large, refugees really feel protected and related to their tradition.
“It looks like house in Sacramento,” he stated.
Khuram arrived within the U.S. in 2015 beneath a Special Immigration Visa (SIV), a program created to guard Afghan allies who aided U.S. authorities operations on the bottom in Afghanistan.
Although greater than 300,000 Afghan civilians have been affiliated with the U.S. mission, solely 16,000 Afghan SIVs have been issued since 2014, based on the IRC.
“It’s vital that the Biden Administration absolutely commits to its guarantees to proceed to offer the humanitarian help and diplomatic assist that’s so desperately wanted,” IRC Afghanistan Director Vicki Aken stated in a statement.
There are at the moment greater than 18,000 SIV purposes within the pipeline, in addition to hundreds of Afghans in dire want of safety who’re ineligible beneath the SIV program as a result of they didn’t present companies to American operations. The Biden administration has taken steps to resolve this situation by introducing the “Priority-2” designation for Afghans affiliated with the U.S. who don’t qualify for the SIV program. Nonetheless, this program got here beneath fireplace for requiring refugees to first search shelter in a 3rd nation as a way to turn into eligible.
On Monday, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum directing Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make use of the Migration and Refugee Help Act to assist meet the “surprising pressing refugee and migration wants of refugees, victims of battle, and different individuals in danger because of the scenario in Afghanistan.” The Biden administration just lately took steps to speed up SIV processing, which normally takes years to finish. Beginning on the finish of July and within the coming weeks, hundreds of SIV candidates can be evacuated from Afghanistan and hosted at a U.S. authorities facility in Virginia.
Evacuees will arrive in teams of 250 each three to 4 days and enter the U.S. as “parolees,” which means their case for resettlement is pending closing approval. They are going to be aided by organizations such because the IRC, CAIR, and different businesses, together with group teams like Khuram’s.
Oussama Mokeddem is the coverage and advocacy supervisor of the Sacramento chapter of CAIR. He stated that although they have no idea the precise variety of refugees they are going to be aiding within the coming days, members of the group are prepared to offer free companies pertaining to immigration standing, acquiring visas, acquiring paths to citizenships, and extra.
“It truly is unlucky to see such instability, but once more, because of poor international coverage and lack of infrastructure,” Mokeddem stated. “Our primary precedence is making certain that households are helped and supported via this time.”
He urges Individuals to take heed to Afghan voices and to offer them the support they need. As for Khuram, although he has no hope for the way forward for his house nation, he urges his fellow Afghans to boost their voices, and he urges the worldwide group to indicate humanity for his folks.
Bareerah Zafar is a journalist and wonder editor situated in Southern California. She dedicates her work to empowering underrepresented communities via storytelling.
Prism is a BIPOC-led non-profit information outlet that facilities the folks, locations, and points at the moment underreported by nationwide media. We’re dedicated to producing the type of journalism that treats Black, Indigenous, and other people of coloration, girls, the LGBTQ+ group, and different invisibilized teams because the specialists on our personal lived experiences, our resilience, and our fights for justice. Sign up for our email list to get our tales in your inbox, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.