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US states briefed on number of Afghan evacuees coming in

·2 min read
Afghan migrants arrive in Virginia last month
Afghan migrants arrive in Virginia last month

Nearly 37,000 Afghans evacuated during the US exit last month from Afghanistan are being resettled across US states.

President Joe Biden began notifying governors about the plans on Wednesday, US officials say.

The US completed its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan on 31 August after a mass evacuation from Kabul airport.

Thousands more evacuees remain at bases overseas as they await processing.

An unknown number of Afghans seeking resettlement in the US remain in Afghanistan after the US military exit.

Mr Biden has announced plans to help resettle a total of 65,000 Afghan evacuees across the US by the end of the month and 95,000 by the end of next year.

States like California, Maryland, Virginia, and Texas - where many Afghan evacuees have resettled in the last 20 years - are welcoming arrivals in large numbers.

California is expected to receive over 5,200 arrivals, according to state department data given to US media.

Many evacuees have reportedly requested to be resettled in those states near friends and family.

Oklahoma has historically had a small Afghan population, but is slated to receive nearly 1,800 arrivals. Only four US states will not receive any immediately.

Governors and refugee groups are working with the federal government to determine the best locations for resettlement that include affordable housing and job openings.

In order to receive access to benefit programmes - such as food stamps and Medicaid - the evacuees will need to be designated as refugees, which requires an act by Congress.

Currently, each evacuee is set to receive $1,225 (£888) to help with rent, food and other resettlement costs.

Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama launched an organisation this week that aims to aid in the resettlement of Afghan evacuees across the country.

Afghan evacuees who come into the US have to undergo security vetting and health screening. The Covid-19 vaccine is mandatory for anyone over the age of 12.

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