Texas expected to resettle a few hundred Afghan refugees

According to Refugee Services of Texas, 30,000 Afghan refugees could resettle in America in the coming weeks with a few hundred to be in Texas.

Texas is expecting to resettle around 324 Afghan refugees around the state. Here in Austin, the city welcomed a family of seven and are gearing up for four additional families just this week.

President Joe Biden doubled down on his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan Monday despite the recent Taliban takeover.

"I think the time has come for the United States to leave. This is not the way that I would like to see it happen, but we might not have a choice," said Jeremi Suri, a professor of History and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Suri says he can see why the president made that decision. "The United States has tried over 20 years to build a functioning state in Afghanistan and there is no functioning state. What we are witnessing is an insurgency of extremists taking control of a society and undermining order."

Suri says the US originally sent military force to Afghanistan after the terrorist attack on September 1, 2001 to eliminate Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. When that mission was accomplished, the US kept troops there. Now 20 years later, Suri believes enough US lives have been lost.

"Our presence should be what [President Biden] called ‘over the horizon’. We should be sitting outside, looking, watching and when people come into power or try to use Afghanistan to bring harm to the us, then we should step in," said Suri.

According to several reports, 30,000 Afghan refugees could come to be resettled in America. These are people who helped the US while in Afghanistan.

"We have to stop treating immigrants and refugees as criminals. they're not. These are good people who have been mistreated and now have to flee for their lives and we have to come up with ways of helping to integrate these refugees into various societies," said Suri.

Russell Smith is the CEO of Refugee Services of Texas, the largest resettlement agency in the state. They are preparing to resettle Afghan refugees with housing and other services. All those refugees have applied for special immigrant visas and will undergo security background checks and health screenings.

"We are helping be a part of the solution to this by welcoming people and helping them find a new home," said Smith.

To learn more about RST and its efforts, click here

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