Human Rights First Welcomes Arrival of First Flight of Afghan Evacuees
WASHINGTON – Early this morning more than 200 Afghans landed in the United States, the first flight of the promised evacuation of our wartime allies. Human Rights First welcomes the arrival of these allies, grateful that the administration has heeded the call of veterans’ groups, faith leaders, and refugee advocates to begin relocating these allies to safety.
“The Afghans arriving today have waited years for this moment, enduring threats from the Taliban while trying to navigate our byzantine immigration system. They deserve to be welcomed with open arms,” said Chris Purdy, Veterans for American Ideals Program Manager at Human Rights First. “While we commend the administration for expediting the arrival of these Afghan allies, flying them directly to the United States, the people on this flight are a tiny fraction of the 18,000 applicants and their families who are waiting on the president to fulfill our promise to those who worked with our armed forces in Afghanistan.”
The Biden administration has promised to protect Afghans who served alongside American forces. As the security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates, the president must act swiftly to save our allies by delivering on the American promise of safety.
“This flight, and its passengers being processed in Fort Lee, is precedent to bring all these heroes and their dependents to U.S territory while their visa claims are processed,” said Purdy. “Eighteen-thousand allies and their families are counting on these promises being kept.”
Human Rights First and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) have advocated for a concrete plan that evacuates the 18,000 Afghan allies and their families to the relative safety of U.S. territory in Guam. Guam’s governor has invited this effort, Members of Congress have endorsed it, and there is a strong historical precedent for such a refugee-processing operation to be based in that U.S. territory.