Michigan resettlement groups say fall of Afghanistan will create decades-long refugee crisis

By Malachi Barrett | mbarret1@mlive.com

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants estimates more than 80,000 U.S.-allied Afghans and their families remain in the country, while hundreds of thousands more are in need of evacuation. Images from Afghanistan’s international airport in Kabul show desperate crowds trying to escape Taliban rule.

The United Nations estimated 250,000 people have been forced from their homes since May, 80% of which are women and children.

Michigan relatives of Afghan residents are calling resettlement organizations with concerns about the safety of loved ones stuck in the country.

“They are so desperate to try to get their family members here,” said Kristine Van Noord, program director at refugee adult and family programs at BCS. “This is a life-and-death situation.”

Chris Cavanaugh, new American services manager at Detroit-based Samaritas, said the situation is chaotic. It’s unclear how many refugees might be sent to Michigan, but Samaritas and other groups have been flooded with calls from people with family in Afghanistan and others who want to help. Click Here to read more.

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