The State Division is providing potential refugee standing to new classes of Afghans who assisted the US through the struggle in Afghanistan, together with those that labored for information media and nongovernmental organizations.

The division mentioned in an announcement on Monday that the motion was meant to guard Afghans “who could also be in danger because of their U.S. affiliation,” however who weren’t eligible for a particular immigrant visa program that has begun to resettle 1000’s of Afghans and their members of the family.

The White Home has been beneath heavy strain to guard Afghans who labored with the U.S. navy over the previous 20 years and who could also be at risk from Taliban reprisals because the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan. Because the Taliban make territorial gains across the nation, Biden administration officers and distinguished members of Congress have grown more and more involved in regards to the risk to Afghans with ties to the US.

The first planeload of greater than 200 Afghan interpreters, drivers and others who aided the U.S. navy arrived final week within the Washington space for resettlement as a part of a authorities initiative beneath two congressionally devised particular visa packages.

Congress created the Particular Immigrant Visa program to present refuge to Afghans and Iraqis who helped the U.S. navy. However the State Division’s motion on Monday displays concern that this system nonetheless leaves susceptible many Afghans with U.S. ties.

Final month, a coalition of stories media organizations — together with The New York Occasions, together with The Washington Submit, ABC Information, CNN, Fox Information and a number of other others — sent letters to President Biden and congressional leaders asking them to take extra steps to guard Afghans who had labored as reporters, translators and help employees for U.S. shops working in Afghanistan.

The letters famous that the Particular Immigrant Visa program “doesn’t attain these Afghans who’ve served U.S. information organizations. But they and their households face the identical risk of retaliation from the Taliban, which views the American press as a legit goal.”

The Taliban have “lengthy performed a marketing campaign of threatening and killing journalists,” the letter identified, estimating that about 1,000 Afghans confronted hazard on account of their journalistic affiliations.

The refugee program may also give protection to Afghans who labored for U.S. government-funded packages and initiatives within the nation, in addition to nongovernmental organizations, which the Taliban have lengthy focused.

The State Division mentioned that Afghans who didn’t meet the Particular Immigrant Visa program’s minimal necessities for length of service would even be eligible for potential refugee standing.

These eligible for this system would endure “intensive safety vetting” earlier than they had been permitted to resettle in the US as refugees, the division mentioned.

Even because it provides resettlement alternatives to new classes of Afghans, the US continues working to guard 1000’s extra who aided the navy and are thus eligible for the Particular Immigrant Visa program.

About 2,500 Afghans are being relocated to Fort Lee, Va., as a part of an effort that the White Home calls Operation Allies Refuge, to take away them from hurt’s means as they full their purposes for visas and everlasting resettlement in the US.

Federal officers say that some 4,000 extra Afghans who’re halfway via the appliance course of will quickly be flown to different international locations, together with their fast households, earlier than those that are granted visas are delivered to the US.