Obama’s, Bushes, And Clintons Join Forces With A New Organization Helping Afghan Evacuees In The United States

Republican George W Bush and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have formed a new association to help Afghan refugees settle in the United States following the recent American pullout. The organization is called the Afghan Refugee Support Network (ARSN). According to a statement released by Welcome.US, the past US presidents and their spouses will act as part of a coalition of advocacy groups, US companies, and other leaders launched on Tuesday. In addition, more than 280 individuals and organizations have hitched their wagon to the council, including major US corporations such as Microsoft Inc., Starbucks Inc., CVS Health Corp., and AirBnB Inc., as well as several charitable organizations and veterans’ groups. 

Obama's, Bushes, and Clintons join forces
Obama’s, Bushes, and Clintons join forces

An announcement from the Bush family said, “Thousands of Afghans stood with us on the front lines to seek for a better world, and now they need our support. Our support of Welcome.US and its efforts to assist Afghan families in settling and starting new lives is something we are proud of. No matter where we go, we’ll be ready to demonstrate to our new Afghan neighbors and everyone else what makes our nation so unique.

What is the Welcome US

President Obama appointed Cecilia Muoz and John Bridgeland to serve on White House’s Domestic Policy Council, and they co-founded Welcome US together. According to Welcome US’s website, it is a “first-of-its-kind national organization that will engage Americans and organize support across sectors for Afghan refugees.”. A news statement stated it would give a “single point of entry for Americans who wish to become involved” in helping Afghans who have fled the country.

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As a central point of contact for public and private efforts to help Afghan refugees as they establish lives in the US, Welcome US has brought together former presidents, a whole group of governors, including Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan and Colorado Democratic Governor Jared Polis, and other leaders as well. According to the group, it will link and coordinate activities across state and municipal governments and nonprofit groups, companies, and universities.

A six-figure ad campaign will be launched “to underscore the need for all Americans to join the hundreds of people who have already stepped up to welcome our new Afghan neighbors as they get situated and create their new lives.” Also included are Airbnb housing assistance, Instacart meals, Walmart, Starbucks, and Microsoft grant money, and Facebook marketing credits to promote the organization. 

Do Welcome US programs not have Donald Trump as a part of them?

Donald Trump and Jimmy Carter’s participation in the endeavor was not immediately apparent, and a spokeswoman for the group did not reply to a request for comment. 

How fellow Americans can do their part

Passionate Americans can contribute in a multitude of ways to Welcome the US’s purpose. Giving time or money to the Welcome Fund, one of the nine national resettlement groups, or a local charity trying to aid Afghan evacuees is one way to help. For individuals to pick from, Welcome US has established a searchable database of hundreds of these non-profits. Those who own Airbnb properties in the United States might offer their property as a meaningful shelter for Afghans looking for permanent housing in the country. Participants can also volunteer as “community sponsors” and assist with daily duties.

You may assist a new neighbor settle in your town by picking them up from the airport, making shopping runs, sharing a meal, and providing advice on day-to-day issues like schools, sports, and more.

Resettlement Agency Resources Are Stretched Due To The Large Number Of Refugees Coming Into The United States 

In the weeks preceding up to August 31, the United States assisted in organizing the evacuation of nearly 120,000 Afghans, of whom tens of thousands had already arrived in the United States for resettlement. Still, more Afghans are awaiting processing at transit sites worldwide, including in the United States. According to Biden, the biggest military evacuation in U.S. history was carried out in response to the Taliban’s swift seizure of Afghani territory. More than 122,000 people were airlifted from Kabul’s main airport, including around 5,500 Americans. They are then linked with resettlement groups that assist them in finding inexpensive homes and employment when their processing at the military posts is complete. However, the influx of refugees in the U.S. has put a strain on the resources of resettlement agencies, forcing the groups to find short-term accommodations through hotel chains and Airbnb rentals. 

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The U.S. refugee resettlement system is currently overwhelmed with more than 50,000 Afghan refugees. Most of the 24,000 Afghans that the United States moved from Kabul have been temporarily held at eight military facilities subjected to medical exams and extra processing. According to estimates, another 39,000 people are still stationed in Europe and the Middle East military sites.

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