White House seeking $1 billion to help resettle Afghan allies
The White House is seeking $1 billion to help resettle Afghan personnel who worked with the U.S. military, according to multiple reports.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that the request was made last Friday. The money would be divided between the Defense Department and State Department, and $25 million would go to Health and Human Services’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The money would cover temporary shelter, resettlement and other necessities.
CNN reported that the request has bipartisan support, and could be included in a security supplemental funding package that is being negotiated on Capitol Hill. This package will reportedly be primarily intended to secure the Capitol after the Jan. 6 riot.
Asked about the request, a senior administration official told The Hill “we are working closely with both sides of the aisle on how we can further support those brave Afghans who have supported our work in Afghanistan.”
The reported funding comes amid heightened urgency from both sides to relocate Afghan personnel whose lives are at risk for their work as translators or other duties supporting the U.S. military during the 20-year war.
Civilian casualties in the first half of 2021 reached record levels amid an increase in killings and injuries since the U.S. and international military forces began withdrawing, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
The Biden administration said last week that it plans to send the first group of 2,500 Afghans that are in the “very final stages” of applying for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to to Fort Lee, Va., which includes 700 SIV applicants and their family members. They’re only expected to stay at Fort Lee for approximately one week.
The House passed the Allies Act, legislation aimed at expediting visas for Afghans who helped the U.S. military.
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