DOD looking to house 2,500 Afghan citizens at Fort Lee

Afghan citizens who worked with allied forces may be able to get visas thanks to “Operation Allies Refuge.”

This comes as the US withdrawals from the 20 year long conflict. Many locals who worked with American forces have stated fear of reprisal from the Taliban. Consequently, eligible Afghans, and their families, can apply for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. This would allow them to be flown to the United States.

Yesterday, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said, “We have recommended, based on this initial request for assistance, the use of Fort Lee, in Virginia, as a temporary host installation.”

Kirby remarked State Department would facilitate travel, and medically screen applicants. This would comprise of about “700 Afghan citizens who participated in helping the U.S. military and 1,800 family members.”

“This initial group of [special immigrant visa] applicants would be able to, while at Fort Lee … safely complete the final steps of the SIV process, such as final medical screenings and final administrative requirements,” Kirby elaborated. “These initial relocation movements — the first that are under Operation Allies Refuge — will again reaffirm America’s commitment to those who have helped us and to whom we owe so much.”

Kirby emphatically stated those relocated to Fort Lee would only be there for a few days. Furthermore, it would only be while they completed the final steps of their SIV process.

The Pentagon previously stated,

“For 20 years in Afghanistan, brave Afghan nationals lent assistance to the military operations led by American service personnel. With operations in that country closing out by the end of August, the U.S. government has made plans to move those civilians and their families to other locations.”

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