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Bush, Clinton, Obama join hands to help Afghan refugees

Welcome.US is also supported by over 280 people and organizations. (file)

Washington:

Three former US presidents – Republican George W. Bush and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – recently launched a new program aimed at supporting refugees from Afghanistan settling in the United States after the US withdrawal that ended a 20-year war. The back of the group is tied together.

The former leader and his wives will serve as part of Welcome.US, a coalition of advocacy groups, American businesses and other leaders.

It launched Tuesday with a website that will be “a single point of entry” to make it easier for Americans to donate, host a refugee family through home rental app Airbnb Inc. or find other ways to help, John Bridgeland, an official in the administration of former President George W. Bush and co-chair of the effort, said at a media event.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have already reached the United States as part of the US evacuation. Many of them would have been at risk if they had been under the Taliban after working with US and allied troops or with US and international agencies.

“Thousands of Afghans stood with us to move forward for a safer world, and now they need our help,” Bush and his wife Laura said in a statement.

Organizers said there has been bipartisan support for Afghan refugees, including Republican and Democratic governors who have signed on to the effort.

Many US state and local leaders have said they would welcome refugees into their communities, although immigration remains a divisive issue in some parts of the country.

Under former President Donald Trump, a Republican, refugee admissions from around the world had fallen to their lowest level in decades, a policy President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has promised to reverse.

Welcome.US also receives support from more than 280 people and entities, including American businesses such as Microsoft Corp., Starbucks Corp. and Walmart Inc., as well as many non-profit organizations, veterans’ groups, and rehabilitation agencies. .

Biden’s administration is working to accommodate 50,000 refugees at military bases in the United States. Others live in processing centers near the US airports where they landed, and more evacuees are in US installations or stranded in third countries overseas.

Some refugee organizations are pushing the United States to adopt a program of private or community sponsorship for individual refugees, similar to the model used in Canada, and a coordinated national volunteer effort to begin that process. see it as a way.

“We want to take advantage of this moment and use all potential to support the Afghan evacuation in the United States,” Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee said at the launch on Tuesday.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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