Thousands of Afghan Refugees Arrive in Idaho, Wisconsin, Montana, and Washington

According to a recent announcement, the Pentagon has added three new U.S. military bases to the list of bases that will help house Afghan refugees who make it stateside after being evacuated by the military.

Based on reports from Politico, the US Department of Defense is currently making room for around 50,000 refugees at US Army installations like Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, and several others throughout the country.

After a short stay at various processing centers, the refugees will then be resettled in states across the country.

Many residents of these states are wondering if Afghan children will share classrooms with local children in places already short-staffed and dealing with the pandemic. Others are wondering if the government has properly vetted people fleeing a place known to harbor terrorists.

While the Biden administration says the refugees will ultimately be spread throughout the country and resettled, residents in places like Sparta, Wisconsin wonder how long will their states be playing host.

According to reports, the refugees arriving in Spokane, Washington at least, will be staying in the town for the foreseeable future.

Since mid-August, ‘Refugee Connection’ Spokane has been making plans for Afghan refugees that were planned to be sent to the town.

For weeks ‘Refugee Connection’ has been preparing to incorporate the new arrivals into their ‘Elder Program’ and their ‘Refugee Kids Connect’ program. These programs are aimed to help people adjust to life in Spokane, Washington as easily as possible. 

According to a local ABC News affiliate:

“Refugee Connection says it is especially important to form a sense of community among the children that will be arriving to keep them active, help prevent the “summer slide,” with their education and help them thrive and feel confident as Spokane community members.”

Another group, World Relief Spokane, is expecting the arrival of Afghan refugees by the end of the week.

The group said that for the next couple of months refugees are going to be needing help from finding housing, jobs, learning English, and getting their kids into the school system.

Because of this, World Relief said that when the new refugees arrive, they will be welcomed into an already established Afghan community here in Spokane.

A video from 2018 shows how teachers might train to accept the new arrivals. During a simulation future teachers were separated into families from various countries. The groups dressed in traditional clothing and memorized their biographies before visiting immigration officials

The incoming Afghans are supposed to be only those who applied for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). But according to reports, thousands of their family members, as well as many others who do not fall under these categories are either on their way stateside, have already arrived in the US, or are on their way to Europe.

According to another report from ABC News, Border Patrol agents have been solicited for a temporary assignment to assist to process tens of thousands of Afghan refugees seeking asylum. The solicitation comes as Border Patrol struggles to perform routine patrols for the demands of processing mostly Central American migrants.

The state of Idaho has so far welcomed 36 Afghan refugees to resettle here this year. But as the U.S. military withdrawal in Afghanistan evolves, that number will exponentially increase.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Idaho has helped refugees resettle in the state for decades. Georgette Sisqueros, the group’s Engagement Coordinator, said the situation in Afghanistan has intensified the need for many of those caught in the conflict to be reunited in Idaho.

“A lot of our team have been working nonstop and talking to families who are just trying to do whatever they can to get their loved ones here,” said Sisqueros. 

The IRC in Idaho, along with other groups in Idaho, are raising money to pay for application fees and programs to help people get settled in the state. The group said it’s important to understand the ‘history and context’ of what is happening in Afghanistan.

Sisqueros says she hopes the U.S. government will resettle as many refugees from Afghanistan in Idaho as possible.

Meanwhile, thousands of refugees have made their way to Wisconsin.

Fewer than 1 percent of people in Wisconsin are Muslim, but around 99% percent of the population of Afghanistan is.

Monroe County Historian Jarrod Roll told the Washington Post that, although most of the residents he’s spoken to seem welcoming, in previous mass migrations to Wisconsin, cultural differences have sparked distrust or animus in a community that is mostly White and Christian.

The Afghans’ reception will hinge on whether Wisconsinites conclude they are vulnerable in need of protection or decide they are potentially going to cause problems.

Joe Biden recently authorized a further $500 million dollars to relocate Afghan refugees, while French President Emmanuel Macron is concerned about up to 3 million of them arriving in Europe.

Several thousand refugees have already made their way to France and Italy.

Italy’s final evacuation flight of refugees from Afghanistan landed at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport. The Italian Air Force C-130J arrived 17 hours after it departed from the Kabul airport and after a planned layover.

According to a report from a Montana NBC affiliate, the International Rescue Committee in Missoula recently received thousands in donations from Montanans in order to help welcome Afghan refugees.

Residents also donated dozens of pieces of furniture for refugees as they help them get settled into Montana. People in the state have also offered up rooms, homes, and Airbnb’s for temporary housing.

“It’s part of America’s duty to help immigrants,” said Deputy Director Eamon Fahey.

“One of the core values in the United States is that we want to be welcoming to immigrants and we are in a very fortunate place to be where we can help, and we have helped throughout our history,” Fahey said.

Many Americans worry that the evacuation and alleged end of the war in Afghanistan will bring another migrant crisis to not only Europe but now the United States.

The migrant crisis of 2015 led to many European nations having to build cement barricades around Christmas markets to prevent truck attacks like the one that happened in Nice, France that killed 84 people. Another terror attack in France at the Bataclan concert hall left 89 slaughtered on the floor of the hall.

The crisis of 2015 as well as other mass immigration into the UK, created the grooming gang problem England has been battling for decades and led to over 1,000 rapes on New Year’s Eve in Cologne Germany.

Sweden, which has been dealing with many grenade attacks due to mass immigration, experienced several live-streamed rapes by Afghan migrants following the 2015 crisis.

A 2018 report found that 99 out of 112 gang rapists in Sweden had a foreign background.

According to a new forecast, more than 1.8 million illegal immigrants are expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border this year, making it the “worst ever” on record for illegal immigration.

Only around 1 million legal immigrants are processed in an average year, which would mean total immigration for 2021 would be over 3 million people.

The projection from Princeton Policy Advisors showed that a high of 1,864,000 illegal immigrants could cross the southwest border based on current trends and past averages.

The Washington Post recently reported that the spike in the number of families and children crossing the border has ‘forced’ U.S. Customs and Border Protection to request airplanes that will transport migrants to states near the Canadian border.

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