Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Afghan Evacuees Cutting a Rough Time in US: Report

Immigration News

Arif Ahmadi
Arif Ahmadi
Arif Ahmadi holds a B.A. degree in Journalism. He works as an Editor & Content Writer for Khaama Press.
FILE: People who have been evacuated from Afghanistan arrive at Pristina International Airport in Pristina, Kosovo August 29, 2021, after Taliban insurgents entered Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. REUTERS/Laura Hasani

WASHINGTON, United States – In a bid for yet a peaceful life, newly settled Afghans are experiencing hardship in the Unites States, according to a report, as delays in obtaining necessary documents and work permits limit their reach for a fresh start.

Delays in getting work permits and Social Security cards prevent a number of Afghan migrants in the country from starting jobs, while others cut a rough time accessing basic healthcare.

A US government official – who has closely known the matter – acknowledged thousands of resettled Afghans “have experienced some delay or problem in accessing their benefits”, assuring concerning bodies and “resettlement agency partners are working hard to address” those challenges.

One Afghan and his family – who were evacuated from Kabul airport amid a chaotic Taliban takeover last August – were resettled in Virginia, according to a report by WSJ. His wife is recovering from open-heart surgery but can’t buy critical medication because of a problem with her health insurance.

“I am completely tired of life,” he said, as Wall Street Journal (WSJ) quoted. “I don’t know how to do it. I have lost my way.”

Among the others, problem with their health insurance, denied food stamps, and lost vaccination records for children are some of the common issues hampering access to basic necessities.

Meanwhile, resettlement agencies, working alongside with the US government, say they have successfully scaled up their workforce in recent months to meet surge in demand. But the reviews from Afghan evacuees suggest otherwise, saying case workers are slow to respond.

Afghans are on a tight schedule to become self-sufficient. The government, through the State Department, provides a one-time per capita amount of $1,225 for agencies to use to directly fund critical needs including housing, as WSJ wrote in its report.

To survive in these trying times, some Afghans are seeking financial assistance from family and friends – either Afghan or American – to help them put their lives on track and cover a wide range of expenses in an unfamiliar environment.

While finance is one of the obvious concerns, squeezing evacuees on a daily basis, the newly settled Afghans are also worried about their refugee status, urging for a green card to mark a permeant stay in the US.

The Afghanistan Adjustment Act, which would give the evacuees permanent legal status in the U.S., was discussed in the summer but has yet to pass in Congress, WSJ wrote.  

In August 15, 2021, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan as the US troops were hastily withdrawing from the country. During those days, hundreds of Afghans – who have worked with the US coalition in Afghanistan – were evacuated in hopes for yet a peaceful life.

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