Thousands of Afghan refugees headed to Texas, Wisconsin bases

Taliban Takeover

A sign marks one of the entrances of the U.S. Army base Fort Lee Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in Petersburg, Va. Afghan refugees who have been prescreened by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have been taken to Fort Lee and other temporary reception centers are being set up at Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — The Department of Defense shared more details Tuesday about additional evacuation plans out of Kabul and the cities that could provide shelter in the U.S.

Pentagon officials confirmed thousands of Afghan refugees would be coming to Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said military bases were chosen to receive them because many of the refugees worked with the United States during the war and could be targeted.

Evacuations out of Kabul will increase in the next 24 hours. Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, a Pentagon logistics specialist, believes there could be as many as 9,000 passengers leaving Afghanistan per day by Wednesday.

The federal government will give a $1,000 loan to 324 refugees heading to shelter in metropolitan cities like Dallas, Houston and Austin.

They are in the U.S. on Special Immigration Visas, or SIVs, which means they will have full background checks and health screenings.

“We will resettle them,” Ashley Faye of Refugee Services of Texas said. “So it’s really a responsibility to bring them to safety after they sacrificed so much for us. Really, they’re veterans.”

Faye’s group is the largest resettlement agency in the state that will welcome the Afghans and help integrate them into society. 

“They are the victims, not the perpetrators,” Faye said. “They are proponents of our country, our collective country, and they’re grateful to be here. They also have a long journey ahead of them.”

There is no timetable for the refugees’ arrival.

Refugees receive temporary food and housing assistance, typically for their first 90 days, from nonprofit organizations operating with a combination of government grants and private donations. They can also get some long-term services such as language classes and citizenship classes, but they are expected to become self-sufficient.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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