Blog & Stories / 08.19.21

Biden must act to protect vulnerable Afghans immediately

Washington, DC — In the four days since the Taliban took control of Kabul and the government of Afghanistan, the United States has failed to offer anything approaching an adequate level of  protection for Afghans who have provided support for the US military, those who have worked for US nonprofits or media organizations, and others, including women and girls, whose lives are immediate danger. Circumstances in Kabul are becoming increasingly volatile. In the  absence of a coordinated US response, desperate Afghans are losing their lives while attempting to make it to the airport and escape the country. 

Refugee Council USA calls on the Biden administration to take immediate action to evacuate Afghans in need of protection to US territory, to keep the Kabul airport open for military aircraft and private and commercial charters, and to ensure safe and secure access into the airport for all at-risk Afghans. The US has a moral obligation to bring Afghans who have been forced from their homes and are in life-threatening danger to safety — and to continue evacuations of vulnerable Afghans, without regard to any arbitrary timeline, until the job is done.

John Slocum, Interim Executive Director for RCUSA stated “For months, our advocates warned the administration of the urgent need to establish a comprehensive humanitarian response for vulnerable Afghans. We are horrified by what we have seen in the past few days. But it is not too late to salvage this administration’s promise to bring to safety not only US citizens and lawful permanent residents, but the thousands of Afghan nationals we are morally obligated to protect. The United States has one of the most robust resettlement programs in the world. Our members, networks, and communities are prepared to welcome all Afghans who need protection — but we need the administration’s help to get them here.”

RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach all refugee-related issues identically.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org

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