TEXAS – With the Taliban’s acquisition of Afghanistan, Afghan citizens and their families, many of whom helped the U.S. military, are in grave danger and seeking refuge in the United States.
According to Texas Refugee Services, about 30,000 Afghans are expected to resettle in the United States in the coming weeks, many of whom will be temporarily staying at Fort Bliss in El Paso.
Texas Refugee Services said it plans to establish 324 Afghans over the next few weeks in Austin, Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth.
“Afghan citizens who cooperated with the US military are in a highly volatile and dangerous situation, as the Taliban outnumber the country. As Americans, we have an obligation to support those who gave their all to help our nation, and we must act now to ensure that these refugees are evacuated and transported to safety, ”said Refugee Services of Texas in a statement.
The distribution of refugees from Texas refugee services is as follows:
- Austin – 107
- Dallas – 108
- Fort Worth: 69 years old
- Houston – 40
Incoming Afghans, the Texas Refugee Service said, have applied for special immigrant visas and will undergo security background checks as well as health checks.
Texas refugee services have helped approximately 2,400 refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq who have had special visas since 2010.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan two weeks before the United States ended the withdrawal of troops after a costly two-decade war.
Insurgents attacked the entire country and captured all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the U.S. and its allies melted away.
The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 drove the insurgents out of power, but they never left. After the light shone across the country in recent days, the government with the support of the West that has ruled the country for 20 years collapsed. Afghans, who fear the future, are rushing to the airport, one of the last routes out of the country.
Many are concerned that the country may fall into chaos or that the Taliban may carry out retaliatory attacks against those who worked with the Americans or the government.
Many also fear that the Taliban will re-impose the harsh interpretation of Islamic law on which they relied when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. At the time, women were forbidden to attend school or work outside the home. They had to wear the burqa that encompassed everything and be accompanied by a male relative every time they went outside. The Taliban banned music, cut off the hands of thieves and stoned adulterers.
The Taliban have tried to present themselves as a more moderate force in recent years and say they will not take revenge, but many Afghans are skeptical of these promises.