The United States aims to open a new center in Northern Virginia to receive additional Afghan evacuees, Reuters reported.
Four sources familiar with the matter have talked to Reuters about this.
However, Reuters reported that local officials in the region had raised concerns before they officially announced the program.
The center is scheduled to open as the government closes down the last of eight sites on military bases that have contained tens of thousands of people evacuated from Afghanistan since August.
A senior US official has said several US agencies involved in resettlement efforts will manage the new facility and may be ready by the end of February and early March.
The site being considered is in Leesburg, Virginia, according to two of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Reuters that it was still working to confirm the location of the center.
However, the sheriff’s office of Loudoun County, where Leesburg is located, issued a statement Thursday saying it was told by DHS that the government planned to bus some 2,000 Afghan evacuees a month, mostly moving from Qatar, to the National Conference Center (NCC) from nearby Dulles International Airport beginning this month.
The statement showed concerns about implementing this program.
The remaining Afghanistan nationals currently housed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey are expected to be resettled in communities around the country in the coming days.
Immigrants used to be sheltered in military bases, but if a new center is established, it will keep them away from military bases.
About 80,000 Afghan nationals have been evacuated to the United States. Some are eligible for special immigrant visas, but others are accepted through “humanitarian parole” with the possibility of seeking an asylum in the United States.
The Biden administration has urged Congress to create a more direct pathway to citizenship for Afghans.
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Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily