UPDATED 1:10 PM PT – Monday, August 2, 2021
The Biden administration expanded access to the refugee program for Afghan allies as attacks by the Taliban have become far more frequent. On Monday, the State Department broadened the requirements of those who were seeking asylum.
The new groups included were current and former employees of U.S. based news organizations, aid and development agencies, and other relief groups funded by the U.S. Current and former employees of the U.S. government and NATO military operation, who have not met the requirements for the dedicated program, were also included.
The U.S. is announcing a new Afghan P-2 refugee admissions category to protect certain Afghan nationals, including those who worked for the United States, to complement the Special Immigrant Visa. https://t.co/b4KENzSczq
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) August 2, 2021
This comes as the situation in Afghanistan has continued to deteriorate. The nation’s president said increased attacks from the Taliban was a result of the U.S. troop withdrawal.
“The Taliban are no longer the Taliban they were 24 years ago. The Taliban have attacked us more violently and are more bloodthirsty,” President Ashraf Ghani explained. “The Taliban have not severed ties with domestic and international terrorists, but their relationship has become stronger and their violence has intensified.”
According to the State Department, expanding the program would give “many thousands” of Afghans and their families the ability to resettle in the U.S. as refugees.