Three former US presidents – Republican George W Bush and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – have banded collectively behind a brand new group aimed toward supporting refugees from Afghanistan settling within the United States following the latest American withdrawal ending 20 years of battle.
The former leaders and their wives will function a part of Welcome.US, a coalition of advocacy teams, US companies and different leaders.
It launched on Tuesday with an internet site that might be “a single level of entry,” to make it simpler for Americans to donate, host a refugee household by way of the house rental app Airbnb Inc or discover different methods to assist, John Bridgeland, an official in former President George W Bush’s administration and co-chair of the trouble, mentioned at a media occasion.
Tens of 1000’s of Afghans have already arrived within the United States as a part of a US evacuation. Many of them would have been in danger had they remained beneath the Taliban after their work with US and allied troops or with American and worldwide companies.
“Thousands of Afghans stood with us on the entrance traces to push for a safer world, and now they want our assist,” Bush and his spouse Laura mentioned in a press release.
Organizers mentioned there was a bipartisan outpouring of help for Afghan refugees, together with Republican and Democratic governors who’ve signed onto the trouble.
A lot of US state and native leaders have mentioned they might welcome refugees into their communities, though immigration stays a divisive concern in elements of the nation.
Under former President Donald Trump, a Republican, refugee admissions from world wide have been slashed to their lowest ranges in many years, a coverage President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has pledged to reverse.
Welcome.US additionally attracts help from greater than 280 folks and entities, together with US companies equivalent to Microsoft Corp, Starbucks Corp and Walmart Inc, in addition to quite a few nonprofit organizations, veterans’ teams and resettlement companies.
Biden’s administration is working to accommodate as many as 50,000 refugees on navy bases within the United States. Others stay in processing facilities close to US airports the place they landed, and extra evacuees are in US installations or caught in third international locations overseas.
Some refugee organizations have been pushing for the United States to undertake a program of personal or neighborhood sponsorship for particular person refugees, just like a mannequin utilized in Canada, and see this coordinated nationwide volunteer effort as one solution to jump-start that course of.
“We wish to benefit from this second and the good have to entry all of the capability on the market within the United States to help Afghan evacuees,” Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee mentioned at Tuesday’s launch.
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