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What’s next for Afghan refugees? Senior U.S. officials give latest on resettlement

Welcome.US launched Tuesday, senior U.S. government officials, said, as part of Operation...
Welcome.US launched Tuesday, senior U.S. government officials, said, as part of Operation Allies Welcome.(Welcome.US)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 8:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Senior U.S. government officials confirmed six cases of measles among Afghan refugees who have recently arrived, among other updates in a briefing on Operation Allies Welcome Tuesday.

MEASLES CASES

U.S.-bound flights of Afghan refugees are currently on pause, U.S. officials said, as a precautionary measure against measles.

Separately, health and military officials have said five of the cases are in Virginia, whereas one has been confirmed in Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy.

Federal officials said they will vaccinate refugees in preparation for resettlement. The measles vaccine, among others, is a condition of entry.

RESETTLEMENT AND NEXT STEPS

While officials did not state specifically where the Afghan refugees will go, they said how many are sent to a location depends on factors like housing, job opportunities and community capacity. Family reunification, they said, is priority.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Federal officials said no one has entered the U.S. that is of concern.

They also explained a two-part vetting process, which begins overseas. That’s where more than 200 officials have been deployed to capture biometric data and review information across multiple government databases. When the plane lands, customs officials then do the second level of screening.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Officials noted the outpour of national support for Operation Allies Welcome.

They said more information on how to help can be found on the Welcome.US website, which launched Tuesday.

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