By Laura Gomez | AZ Mirror
The federal government is pausing its resettlement program for refugees around the world through early January 2022 to prioritize services for thousands of Afghan evacuees who are expected to exit military bases and arrive in cities across the country in the coming months, according to the U.S. Department of State.
The government is prioritizing some groups of refugees for resettlement with “urgent cases, cases with processing steps that will expire, family reunification cases,” refugees who already have travel arrangements made for November and December, and those who have Special Immigrant Visa status, an agency spokesperson told Arizona Mirror in an email Friday.
“This temporary approach will help expedite the resettlement of Afghans from safe havens to their new communities as part of Operation Allies Welcome between October 29, 2021, and January 11, 2022.”
Operation Allies Welcome is an effort coordinated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to resettle Afghan refugees who left the country during an emergency evacuation as American troops pulled out in August.