HARTFORD, Conn. — The deadline to withdraw Americans and Afghan refugees out of Afghanistan are just four days away.
The Taliban has opposed any extension and wanted all foreign nationals out of the country.
Attorneys and immigration coalitions in Connecticut have been teaming up to help refugees settle in their new homes.
Just one day after 100 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members were killed in Thursday’s suicide bombing, the worry has set in.
The Biden Administration set August 31st as the deadline to evacuate troops out of Afghanistan, including Afghan refugees.
Questions remain as to whether that timeline needs to be adjusted.
President Joe Biden said he wants it done the sooner, the better.
Immigration Attorney Erin O’Neil-Baker said her law firm is representing many of these Afghan families who are looking to make Connecticut their new home.
“It’s a very treacherous and very dangerous for them. We had a report just yesterday that one of our clients was being chased by the Taliban,” said O’Neil-Baker.
Before the arrival, O’Neil-Baker said the FBI will first review their history. The Department of Homeland Security will conduct a background check as well as multiple interviews.
“Depending on the type of category you’re coming in on, the option that you choose to come in on whether it’s a non-immigrant VISA like the SIV, non-immigrant VISA, or refugee status which is more permanent,” added O’Neil-Baker.
Senator Richard Blumenthal worked closely with organizations like IRIS – an immigrant coalition for refugees.
Families will be set up with homes and children will be signed up for school.
“Reorienting and resettling in a completely different country, different language, different custom … is an enormous challenge,” said Blumenthal.
O’Neil-Baker said refugees can apply for permanent residency and after five years, they can apply to become U.S. citizens.
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