The Biden administration will begin relocation flights this month for eligible Afghan nationals who aided the U.S. military during the war in Afghanistan as the U.S. works to pull the last troops out of the country by the end of August.
The flights will begin in the last week of July for Afghan nationals and their families who have “supported the United States and our partners in Afghanistan” and are currently in the process of applying for the Special Immigrant Visa, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
The official declined to give further details about where and when the flights will occur, citing “operational security,” but said they will meet a commitment President Joe Biden made last week.
18,000. That’s how many Afghans have served as drivers, interpreters, engineers and other support roles for the U.S. military and diplomatic corps, with 53,000 family members between them, according to the New York Times.
“We’ve got to know how many it is… [and] identify the cost of it,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, told Forbes, adding, “I think the Congress, Democrats and Republicans, will ultimately respond positively to their plight.”