Refugee organization: Idaho to welcome 400 Afghan nationals

Roughly 400 Afghan refugees will resettle in Idaho over the next fiscal year, officials with the International Rescue Committee in Boise said on Tuesday.

About 50,000 Afghans are expected to be admitted to the United States under a program called “Operation Allies Welcome.” The group will include translators, drivers and others who helped the U.S. military during the 20-year war and who feared reprisals from the Taliban after they quickly seized power last month.

Julianne Donnelly Tzul, the executive director of the Boise organization, spoke at a panel Tuesday about the state’s role in resettling Afghans, the Idaho Press reported. Most of the Afghan nationals will come in under humanitarian parole, which is like a visa that allows someone enter the country if they have been determined to be in danger and have undergone extensive vetting. Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Specialist Holly Beech said her office has “full confidence in the thorough screening and vetting process that’s in place and has been working for decades.”

Nawid Mousa, a civil engineer and former refugee from Afghanistan, said the incoming refugees risked their lives for the United States and should be welcomed with open arms. Mousa said he has faith in the system and local governments taking “the right measures to process and vet” people. (AP)

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