AUSTIN, Texas — As the U.S. has withdrawn from Afghanistan due to Taliban control, Refugee Services of Texas (RST) has announced it will be working to help families fleeing dangerous conditions.
The group reported that it will settle 324 Afghans over the next few weeks across its offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.
Over the weekend, the Austin office already resettled a family of seven and is working to help four more families later this week.
"We know that this is just the beginning of this wave, and RST stands ready to do our part in this crisis," RST said in a press release.
RST will be working with its national refugee resettlement partners and the U.S. government to help offer protection and resettlement to families in need.
"Afghan nationals who cooperated with the U.S. military are in a highly volatile and dangerous situation as the Taliban overruns the country," the release states. "We have an obligation as Americans to support those who gave everything to help our nation, and we must act now to ensure these refugees are evacuated and transported to safety."
RST said that reports indicate 30,000 Afghans could be resettled across the nation in the coming weeks. Some of them will be headed for Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
According to RST, refugees have applied for special immigrant visas (SIVs), which will qualify them to be resettled by agencies like RST.
"The U.S. has previously resettled thousands of SIV holders to keep its promise to protect those who have given everything to help our nation, and we must make good on those promises once again," RST wrote.
The group has welcomed more than 2,400 SIVs from Afghanistan and Iraq since 2010. Every year, the group assists 35-40% of the SIVs who resettle in Texas, and 4-6% of all SIVs who come to the U.S.
RST said all who have applied for SIVs will undergo a security background check and health screenings.
To learn more about RST, click here.
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