In coordination with U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC) and other non-profit organizations are assisting the U.S. government in relocating Afghan nationals who are in the final stages of approval for special immigrant visas (SIV) and seeking refuge in the United States.
Since 2001, U.S. troops have been stationed in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghans, in defiance of the Taliban, risked their lives to assist U.S. troops and diplomats, providing invaluable assistance as translators, interpreters, security personnel, and in many other vital roles. Because of the imminent and credible danger to their lives and the lives of their families, Congress authorized bi-partisan humanitarian programs to provide special immigrant visas, resettlement services, and legal permanent residence to SIV holders and their families.
“Commonwealth Catholic Charities is proud to support these brave men and women who have worked side-by-side with our soldiers and diplomats, risking their lives and contributing so much,” said CCC CEO Jay Brown. “It is a privilege to be part of the effort to provide them with a warm, hospitable welcome as they reestablish lives here in the United States.”
In the coming days, special immigrant applicants and their immediate family members will arrive at Fort Lee in Virginia where CCC and community partners will assist with completing paperwork, coordinating appointments, and providing childcare.
“I am most grateful for the work of Commonwealth Catholic Charities as they partner with the government and other agencies to provide safe relocation and resettlement for those individuals who supported the U.S. government,” said Bishop Barry C. Knestout.
“CCC's work is well known for its long history of welcoming families fleeing violence and persecution. I am proud of CCC's effort as they give witness to the Gospel (Mt. 25:35) to see Christ in the stranger and to welcome them with compassion, dignity and hospitality.
“Within our diocese, we recognize this good work," continued Bishop Knestout,"as Pope Francis calls us to be a Church that reaches out to the periphery—especially for those who are most vulnerable."