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World Canada faces criticism for its slow evacuation of Afghans who helped the government

04:30  06 september  2021
04:30  06 september  2021 Source:   pri.org

Explainer-Who are the Afghan refugees coming to the U.S. and what happens when they arrive?

  Explainer-Who are the Afghan refugees coming to the U.S. and what happens when they arrive? Explainer-Who are the Afghan refugees coming to the U.S. and what happens when they arrive?WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thousands of Afghans have arrived in the United States since the hurried evacuation of Afghanistan began in mid-August, including many who helped U.S. forces during its 20-year involvement in the country's war.

The Canadian government is now defending itself against criticism that it has been slow to evacuate Canadian citizens and Afghans who worked for the Canadian government . She said Canada could also waive some paperwork requirements to expedite the arrival of Afghans from other countries, as the government did during a past effort to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. “Hopefully, the situation with Afghan refugee resettlement will take those practices into account and we can see efficient measures put in place to really help people come to Canada and start new lives here,” Silcoff said.

The Canadian government has pledged to evacuate and resettle 20,000 Afghans , including women, aid workers and diplomatic staff, citing concerns about Taliban reprisals as the militant group overruns cities across Afghanistan . His comments followed a series of reports on Thursday night that the government would send a small contingent of special operators to the Canadian Embassy to assist with the evacuation of staff, though the officials cited did not provide exact numbers for the deployment.

Tanya, a naturalized Canadian citizen who lives in Ottawa, has been trying to get her entire family to Canada, or the US, for years.

a group of people standing around a bag of luggage: US Airmen and US Marines guide evacuees aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in this Aug. 21, 2021, image provided by the US Air Force.  © Senior Airman Brennen Lege/US Air Force via AP

US Airmen and US Marines guide evacuees aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in this Aug. 21, 2021, image provided by the US Air Force.

More recently, she has prioritized getting her father — whom she said worked as a subcontractor repairing equipment for the Canadian and American militaries — onto an evacuation flight to escape Taliban retaliation.

'Majority' of Afghan allies who applied for special visas still in Afghanistan

  'Majority' of Afghan allies who applied for special visas still in Afghanistan The Pentagon said Wednesday about 20,000 Afghans have arrived at eight U.S. military bases and another 40,000 were at bases in the Middle East and Europe.“I don't have an estimate for you on the numbers of SIVs and family members who are still there,'' said the senior official, who was in Kabul for the evacuation. ‘But I would say it's the majority of them, just based on anecdotal information about the populations we were able to support.

Tanya, a naturalized Canadian citizen, has been trying to get her family relocated to Canada , or the US, for years. Unfortunately, her story is all too familiar for Afghans trying to get their family members out of Afghanistan . This powerful opinion-based show throws the floor open to an enquiring public for discussions on the issues affecting the country and its people and ensuring that the average citizen gets a voice.

Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps. Tanya, a naturalized Canadian citizen, has been trying to get her family relocated to Canada , or the US, for years. Unfortunately, her story is all too familiar for Afghans trying to get their family members out of Afghanistan . 5635 episodes.

Tanya, who asked The World not to use her last name to avoid endangering her family members, said that when her father didn't answer her call on Friday, she panicked.

“I called my brother and said, ‘Is everything OK? Are you guys OK?’ And he said, ‘Yes, we were attacked yesterday.’ And that just shattered me, basically.”

Armed men had come to the house, he told her — and her family members escaped by climbing over a wall and have now gone into hiding.

Tanya sent her family’s documents to the Canadian government three weeks ago, after the government announced that Afghans looking to be evacuated should submit their information via email, but said she is still waiting to hear back.

Unfortunately, that story is all too familiar for Afghans in Canada looking to get their loved ones out of Afghanistan. The Canadian government is now defending itself against criticism that it has been slow to evacuate Canadian citizens and Afghans who worked for the Canadian government.

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  Fact check: Biden didn't 'gift' weapons to Taliban, hasn't proposed banning pistols A widespread narrative on social media misleads on the value of military equipment left behind in Afghanistan."The current regime that just gifted the Taliban with $80+ billion worth of military grade weapons wants your 9mm pistols," reads an Aug. 17 text post on Facebook. "THINK ABOUT IT.

The Government of Canada continues to be deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the risks it poses for many vulnerable Afghans . Canada ’s special immigration program has already brought many Afghans to Canada —and our teams there, here and across the world are working around the clock to bring as many people as possible to safety. As the Taliban continues to take over more of Afghanistan , Afghans ’ lives are under threat—and many have already fled the country.

Sign in to a Government of Canada online account. Sign up for direct deposit. Learn what Canada is doing about the situation in Afghanistan . Special measures for Afghan applications. Find out what supports are available for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are currently in Afghanistan . Find out how the Canadian Armed Forces are contributing to the evacuations .

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that if the Taliban continues to restrict access, this will limit the number of Afghans Canada can evacuate.

Related: This Afghan interpreter helped the US Army Special Forces. He's desperate to get out of Afghanistan.

“We will get some, certainly, but to get many people out, as many as we'd want, is going to be almost impossible in the coming weeks."

Justin Trudeau, prime minister, Canada

“We will get some, certainly, but to get many people out, as many as we'd want, is going to be almost impossible in the coming weeks,” Trudeau said, delivering updates on the Afghan evacuation from the campaign trail after calling a snap parliamentary election that began the same day Taliban troops entered Kabul.

Canada deployed troops in Afghanistan as part of joint NATO forces until 2014. They were supported by thousands of Afghan interpreters and other staff.

Poland, Belgium end Afghan evacuation as clock ticks down

  Poland, Belgium end Afghan evacuation as clock ticks down WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland and Belgium ended their evacuations from Afghanistan, but other European nations vowed Wednesday to press on for as long as possible, as the clock ticks down on a dramatic airlift of people fleeing Taliban rule ahead of a full American withdrawal. President Joe Biden said he will stick to his Aug. 31 deadline for completing the U.S. pullout, as the Taliban insisted he must, ramping up pressure on the already risky operation to fly people out of Kabul. © Provided by Associated Press Hundreds of people gather near an evacuation control checkpoint outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug.

Afghans who worked for France have been desperately emailing Goulet, sharing their work and identification documents and asking for her help arranging a flight out of Kabul. One Afghan man who worked with the French military for nearly seven years and shared his proof of employment said he has not left his Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has come under severe criticism for what critics call the government ’s slapdash response, has pledged to resettle a total of 20,000 Afghans in the “coming months and years,” including human rights defenders, journalists and female leaders.

"Not sure who the Afghans are still pulling in, but it seems to be a steady trickle," they said. The source also said there had been no progress in the evacuation of locally employed embassy staff, although planning was underway. While the backlog of evacuees was being whittled down in Kabul, strain was showing "Many people now fear reprisals by the Taliban against those working with the government or the international community; people who have worked to advance human rights and justice; or those whose lifestyles and opinions are simply perceived to be opposed to the Taliban ideology," Bachalet

Late last week, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Canada would accelerate evacuations. He said the collection of biometric data was being moved to a third country and that Canada would waive requirements like COVID-19 tests and passports to board evacuation flights. The day the Taliban entered Kabul, form emails were still encouraging Afghans to apply for passports.

Related: 'If journalists leave a scene, it becomes a black hole,' VOA journalist says

Mendicino tweeted Monday that Canada had flown more than 1,500 Afghans to safety. Some passengers who ended up on Canadian flights have reportedly been bound for other allied countries. And many Canada evacuees have been unable to reach the airport at all to board flights.

“The situation on the ground is volatile. It’s precarious. We’re staying in constant contact with all the people we’re trying to help,” Mendocino said on a Canadian TV program Sunday.

Officials have said they want to evacuate about 6,000 Afghans with ties to Canada.

A spokesperson for Mendicino’s division, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Rémi Larivière, said in an email that he could not disclose operational details but wrote: “We recognize the urgency of the situation, and we will continue to work as quickly as possible.”

Latest on Afghanistan: Biden says US 'on a pace' for Aug. 31 pullout; Taliban block Afghans from airport

  Latest on Afghanistan: Biden says US 'on a pace' for Aug. 31 pullout; Taliban block Afghans from airport Biden added the deadline depends on Taliban cooperation, and added that he has asked the Depts. of State and Defense to prepare contingency plans.His remarks from the White House came the same day the Taliban said it would stop Afghans from trying to go to the Kabul airport and told women to stay home to stay for a time to stay safe, fueling worries about how the Taliban will treat women.

Larivière noted that Canada is also working to expedite the processing of family sponsorship applications for Afghans. Canada’s family reunification program does not allow Canadians like Tanya to sponsor her adult siblings.

Loose networks of individuals have also mobilized to help bring Afghans who worked with the Canadian military to safety.

Andrew Rusk’s sister-in-law was the first Canadian military woman to be killed in combat in Afghanistan. In July, he co-founded a group called Not Left Behind, which is working with dozens of Canadian veterans.

“I don't doubt for a minute that everybody is trying incredibly hard at this moment to do the right thing. ... But we needed to do the right thing three months ago, four months ago."

Andrew Rusk, Not Left Behind, Canada

“I don't doubt for a minute that everybody is trying incredibly hard at this moment to do the right thing,” Rusk said, responding to recent statements by Canadian politicians. “But we needed to do the right thing three months ago, four months ago.

“Because of our delays, because of the paperwork, because of the bureaucracy, instead of getting people on planes, we've had Afghans that supported us hiding for their lives as they've been hunted by the Taliban,” Rusk said.

Related: US biometric devices are in the hands of the Taliban

About 100K Afghans Seeking Evacuation Via U.S. Visa Program, Refugee Assistance Group Says

  About 100K Afghans Seeking Evacuation Via U.S. Visa Program, Refugee Assistance Group Says An Afghan woman who has waited 3 years for the U.S. government to take action on her visa pleaded for it to "start taking action. As immediately as you can."Rebecca Heller, head of the U.S.-based International Refugee Assistance Program, said an Afghan client told her that five translators were killed by the Taliban in the past two days for working with Americans.

Those approved for flights receive messages from the Canadian government to make their way to the airport in Kabul, which, for many, means crossing through Taliban checkpoints and crowds outside the gates.

For some, help will almost certainly come too late, Rusk said.

“Last weekend, I received news from one of the veterans working on this that three cooks that worked with him in Kandahar were killed. A couple of weeks before, we heard that the wife of an interpreter was killed.”

Canada has committed to welcoming 20,000 Afghans, including those being evacuated now. The rest will likely be people who have gotten out of Afghanistan to a third country on their own.

Related: An Afghan American describes his fear-filled flight from Kabul

Maureen Silcoff, a past president of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, said immigration officials should use flexible options at their disposal, including temporary residence permits, to get as many people on evacuation flights as possible.

She said Canada could also waive some paperwork requirements to expedite the arrival of Afghans from other countries, as the government did during a past effort to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees.

“Hopefully, the situation with Afghan refugee resettlement will take those practices into account and we can see efficient measures put in place to really help people come to Canada and start new lives here,” Silcoff said.

Canada’s private sponsorship program lets groups of Canadians support individual refugees’ resettlement and exceptionally high participation helped Canada eventually admit 39,000 Syrians in just under a year.

Silcoff said she’s encouraged to see lots of public interest in sponsoring Afghan refugees and that she hopes the number of Afghans admitted to Canada will also be expanded.

These 16 Republicans voted against speeding up visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban .
Some Republicans now criticizing Biden voted to block legislation that would have expedited visas to help Afghanistan civilians fleeing the Taliban.The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to make it easier for Afghans who assisted the American military to relocate to the U.S. The Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act (ALLIES) Act was approved by a 407-16 vote on July 22. The 16 "no" votes were all from Republicans.

usr: 1
This is interesting!