In light of increasing levels of Taliban violence, the State Department is expanding the pool of Afghans eligible for resettlement.
"Today the State Department is announcing a new resettlement program for Afghans who assisted the United States but do not qualify for Special Immigrant Visa's. We've created a Priority 2 or P2 designation, granting access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for many of these Afghans and their family members," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a Monday press conference.
This announcement comes after the first round of Afghan interpreters and their families began arriving in the U.S. last week. This new opportunity applies to any Afghans who worked with the U.S. military, government, or media organizations.
One big difference between this new designation and efforts we've seen to resettle interpreters is that the Afghans eligible for P2 resettlement must be referred to the State Department by their employer.
They're also responsible for getting themselves and their families out of Afghanistan without U.S. assistance.
"As we see, again and again, people have to do very difficult things to find safety and security and we will do everything we can to help them, including making these different avenues of arrival to the United States for this group of people possible," Blinken said.
State Department officials are working with neighboring countries to provide humanitarian aid for the influx of refugees expected from Afghanistan.