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Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani Calls For Expedited Resettlement of Afghan Refugees in the US After Taliban Takeover

Photo: Anna Eskamani

Her comments came on a national call with the We Are All America nonprofit, that helps refugees and asylum seekers resettle in the country.

Rep. Anna Eskamani says as the daughter of two Iranian immigrants to Florida, the issue of resettling Afghan refugees in the country is already dear to her heart.

So Eskamani says she had to act when she received an email from an attorney begging for help processing the visa of an Afghan interpreter to Orlando. 

She says she wants all state officials to push for an expedited visa approval process for Afghan asylum seekers, especially those who are most vulnerable to the new regime.

“Of course, as a statehouse representative, these are cases that are often referred to our federal officials. But I’m here to make sure that every elected official understands that we play a role not only in pushing for a robust humanitarian response to our Afghan allies, but to also ensure it’s not just about getting our refugees to this country, it’s also about the settlement process.”

Eskamani says welcoming these refugees is the best way for America to fulfill its 20 years of promises to the Afghan people. 

“So we have to move fast in welcoming refugees, making the processing as fast as possible to save lives not just for those that have SIVs, but also their families.”

Eskamani says there are hundreds of thousands of people just like this interpreter, who will be left vulnerable to the new regime if they aren’t given safe passage to the US.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service estimates only about 1,200 Afghans have been resettled in the country since last weekend. There are at least 80,000 more asylum seekers left in the country.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »