Thursday, April 13, 2023

Afghan Evacuees Spewed Racism, Sexism at U.S. Aid Workers, Audit Finds; US Continues Relocating Afghans Even Under Taliban Rule

Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP
Afghan evacuees spewed racism, sexism at U.S. aid workers, audit finds:
Afghan evacuees subjected U.S. refugee workers to racism and sexism because they were “unaccustomed to the norms of U.S. society” and the ad hoc nature of the 2021 airlift left the government with too little time to blunt their racism through a full orientation, according to an inspector general’s report.
Some evacuees refused to work with caseworkers who were women or minorities.
Agency workers were putting in 14-hour days, seven days a week, only to face what the audit called “verbal abuse” by evacuees who thought they weren’t being treated very well.
The workload and the abuse took their toll, with resettlement agencies reporting an unprecedented attrition rate of up to 20% in less than a year.
Employees begged for mental health resources to help them deal with the whirlwind they were thrown into, according to the State Department’s inspector general.
Investigators found the chaotic airlift and the overwhelming numbers — some 72,000 Afghans were welcomed and resettled by the Afghan Placement and Assistance program — were too much for the U.S. to accommodate seamlessly.
“The APA Program was an unprecedented and demanding effort that presented substantial challenges for the nine [resettlement agencies] that implemented the program,” the audit found.
On the plus side, the resettlement agencies said they had no complaints about Uncle Sam’s funding — nearly $2.8 billion that President Biden allocated for helping the evacuees — and said coordination among federal agencies was generally good. --->READ MORE HERE
U.S. Army/Sgt. Jimmie Baker/Handout via Reuters
US Continues Relocating Afghans Even Under Taliban Rule:
Inside a large building that was once used as a commercial guesthouse for foreign visitors in Kabul are numerous rooms occupied by families and individuals who are not allowed to go outside or disclose their exact location to anyone.
Brought from different parts of Afghanistan, the residents are hosted in the facility before their flights to a third country where they will be processed for final relocation to the United States.
Nearly two years after the Taliban’s return to power, the U.S. has continued evacuating Afghans under special immigration and refugee admission programs despite having no consular or diplomatic presence in Afghanistan.
Aware of the ongoing relocation flights, Taliban authorities have not impeded the program so far despite widespread allegations that the group targets Afghans who worked for the previous U.S.-backed Afghan government.
Through chartered flights, the U.S. government has relocated from Afghanistan thousands of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, unaccompanied children, refugees and Afghans who qualify under what is known as a Special Immigrant Visa, or SIV, program. Special immigrant visas are reserved for those who worked for U.S. entities and programs in Afghanistan before the Taliban seized power.
More than 90,000 Afghans have been resettled across the United States over the past 20 months, according to the State Department. More than 11,000 SIVs were issued to Afghans between October 2021 and September 2022, according to official figures. --->READ MORE HERE
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