President Biden told reporters on Thursday afternoon that his administration has begun processing the relocation of thousands of Afghans who worked with the U.S. military during the Afghan war.
“Those who helped us are not going to be left behind,” said the President when asked about the plan.
The decision comes amid growing pressure from lawmakers in both parties who fear that the Taliban will kill Afghans who served alongside American troops.
Lawmakers have urged the administration to consider temporarily relocating Afghans to a safe overseas location while their U.S. visas are processed.
The Biden administration is currently focusing on accelerating a special visa program for Afghans.
About 18,000 Afghans have expressed interest in the special visa program, around 9,000 have already filled out the necessary paperwork while the remaining 9000 are at the beginning of the process.
U.S. forces will be leaving Afghanistan sometime in July, ahead of President Biden’s deadline of Sept. 11.
The relocation flights will likely be leaving Kabul Airport sometime in August with security from Turkish troops.
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