Canada will resettle 5,000 Afghan refugees evacuated by the US, immigration minister says

Canada will resettle 5,000 Afghan refugees evacuated by the US, immigration minister says
© Greg Nash

Canada’s immigration minister announced on Tuesday that the country will resettle 5,000 Afghan refugees who were evacuated by the U.S.

“We know there is more to do with allied evacuation operations ending," Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said during a briefing, according to Reuters.

“We're pulling out all the stops to help as many Afghans as possible who want to make their home in Canada,” he added.

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Canada pulled 3,700 people from Afghanistan in recent weeks, according to Reuters, roughly 2,000 of whom were Afghans and their families that previously aided the Canadian military and diplomats.

Canada concluded its mission in Afghanistan in 2011 but military trainers remained in the country until 2014.

The news of 5,000 refugees being resettled comes after Mendicino announced earlier this month that Canada would take in more than 20,000 Afghans who were put into danger and forced to flee amid the Taliban’s advances in the region.

He also said in July that a number of Afghans who worked with the Canadian government would be resettled in the country.

“We want to welcome Afghan families who have helped Canadians, who have — who fought for justice, who fought for rights for the LGBT community, for women, for journalists,” Trudeau told an Ottawa campaign event on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Canada said it is looking to continue helping to evacuate Afghans who want to resettle as long as the Taliban allows it, Reuters reported. Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said roughly 1,250 Canadian nationals, permanent residents and family members are still in Afghanistan.

The announcement from Mendicino comes at a precarious time for Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauCanada's Trudeau apologizes for vacation on first Truth and Reconciliation Day Unvaccinated Canadian government workers to be placed on unpaid leave Canada marks first 'National Day of Truth and Reconciliation' MORE, who has received criticism for his government’s slow evacuation efforts and actions that were not as far reaching as other countries.

He called a snap election on Aug. 14, the day Kabul fell, which is now scheduled for Sept. 20. The prime minister is looking to win back a majority in the House of Commons.

The U.S. evacuated more than 120,000 individuals between Aug. 14 and Aug. 30. The last military plane carrying U.S. soldiers departed Afghanistan on Monday, putting an end to America’s longest war.