Three former US presidents – Republican George W Bush and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – have banded collectively behind a brand new group geared toward supporting refugees from Afghanistan settling in the US following the latest American withdrawal ending 20 years of conflict.
The previous 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 Individuals 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, stated at a media occasion.
Tens of hundreds of Afghans have already arrived in the US as a part of a US evacuation. Lots of them would have been in danger had they remained underneath the Taliban after their work with US and allied troops or with American and worldwide businesses.
“Hundreds 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 stated in a press release.
Organizers stated there was a bipartisan outpouring of help for Afghan refugees, together with Republican and Democratic governors who’ve signed onto the trouble.
Numerous US state and native leaders have stated they’d welcome refugees into their communities, though immigration stays a divisive concern in components of the nation.
Beneath former President Donald Trump, a Republican, refugee admissions from all over the world had 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 individuals and entities, together with US companies resembling Microsoft Corp, Starbucks Corp and Walmart Inc, in addition to quite a few nonprofit organizations, veterans’ teams and resettlement businesses.
Biden’s administration is working to accommodate as many as 50,000 refugees on navy bases in the US. 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 US to undertake a program of personal or group sponsorship for particular person refugees, much like a mannequin utilized in Canada, and see this coordinated nationwide volunteer effort as one option to jump-start that course of.
“We wish to make the most of this second and the nice must entry all of the capability on the market in the US to help Afghan evacuees,” Nazanin Ash of the Worldwide Rescue Committee stated at Tuesday’s launch.
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