COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that 855 Afghan evacuees will be coming to Ohio.
The state received notification from the federal government that the evacuees will come to eight resettlement agencies, located mainly in northeast and central Ohio, through the U.S. Department of State’s Afghan Placement and Assistance Program. None of the agencies are located in the Mahoning Valley.
The first group of Afghan evacuees totals 37,000 individuals nationwide.
“These are individuals who have been partners with the United States and deserve our support in return for the support they’ve given us,” DeWine said in a news release. “Thank you to the resettlement agencies and communities who have stepped forward and demonstrated they have the resources necessary to help these individuals in their time of need.”
The purpose of the federal APA Program is to provide newly arrived Afghans with initial relocation services as they begin to rebuild their lives in the United States. The federal government is screening and vetting participants in the program, the release states. These are individuals who have not yet received refugee status nor a special immigrant visa. They are arriving to the U.S. under a legal mechanism known as humanitarian parole. Managed by the federal government, humanitarian parole provides temporary authorization to enter the U.S., based on humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. Details of the program can be found here.
According to the release, the situation remains fluid, but placements are expected to occur over the next six months as follows:
- International Institute of Akron, Akron: 150 evacuees;
- Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio, Cincinnati: 50;
- U.S. Together, Cleveland: 85;
- Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services, Cleveland: 100;
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Cleveland, Cleveland: 100;
- Community Refugee and Immigration Services, Columbus: 250;
- U.S. Together, Columbus: 95;
- U.S. Together, Toledo: 25.