Undercurrent

At least 150 Afghan refugees will be resettled in Nevada

By: - September 21, 2021 2:38 pm

Refugees walk through the departure terminal to a bus at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on August 31, 2021 in Dulles, Virginia. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of State is projecting that 150 Afghan refugees will be resettled in Nevada as part of the new program Afghan Placement and Assistance. 

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, which offers immigrants and refugees services, and the Governor’s Office for New Americans announced Tuesday 50 individuals are expected to be placed in Southern Nevada and 100 in Northern Nevada. 

The state is still waiting for final confirmation on how many Afghan refugees and those with special immigrant visas will ultimately be resettled in the state.

“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Nevada is and will continue to be a welcoming state for all,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement. “I am proud of our long-standing tradition of resettling refugees and other eligible populations fleeing from persecution fearing for theirs and their families’ lives and safety, and we stand ready to support the resettlement efforts in our state and the Afghan families seeking refuge in Nevada.”

The United States brought the 20-year war in Afghanistan to an end Aug. 30. 

Former President Donald Trump had previously negotiated with Taliban leaders to have troops withdrawn by 2021, which was carried out by President Joe Biden.

The final month saw an escalation of violence, which led to the deaths of 13 U.S. troops, and searing images of thousands of Afghan people crowding the airport seeking to escape.

Last week, the Biden administration began notifying states how many Afghan refugees from the first group of 37,000 are expected to be resettled. The administration requested additional funding to resettle 65,000 by the end of September and another 95,000 by September 2022. 

Tuesday’s announcement didn’t indicate when the refugees would arrive.

Catholic Charities, which serves as the Office of Refugee Resettlement for the state, along with ECDC African Community Center in Las Vegas and the Northern Nevada International Center in Reno will facilitate the resettlement process. 

“As the State Refugee Office, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada will continue to welcome and help resettle refugees in Nevada,” said Deacon Thomas A. Roberts, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. “This includes refugees and special immigrant visa holders (SIVs). It’s worth noting there are differences on the services and benefits available to this regular group of individuals who receive service from Catholic Charities, and the current group of Afghan evacuees who are fleeing from their country in light of the recent world events.” 

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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