Nov 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. temporarily halts some refugee admissions, prioritizes resettling Afghan evacuees

State Department

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The U.S. government is temporarily pausing admissions for some refugees to prioritize the processing and resettlement of thousands of Afghan evacuees expected to arrive in the coming months, the State Department said Monday.

Why it matters: An initial group of 37,000 Afghan evacuees is set to start arriving in 46 states, Axios' Stef Kight reports. The resettlement has come with numerous legal and logistical hurdles for groups in charge of the effort.

  • The government is temporarily prioritizing Special Immigrant Visa holders, urgent cases and refugees who already have travel arrangements, among others, according to the department.

Details: The temporary pause on admissions for other groups is slated to run through Jan. 11.

What they're saying: "The U.S. government is committed to resettling tens of thousands of Afghans from safe havens to communities across the country," an agency spokesperson told Axios.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to say that select groups are temporarily prioritized for admission, all refugee admissions have not halted, and that the operation to resettle Afghan evacuees will not end on Jan. 11, it will be ongoing.

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