Some of these Afghans have been targeted for murder by the Taliban, one of the officials said, and the concern is that their safety will be in even greater jeopardy as US troops continue to withdraw from the country. But the evacuation process is not imminent, and the details are still being worked out amid several logistical and bureaucratic hurdles, the officials said.
A senior congressional aide said that in briefing members, the administration had not yet outlined the cost of the relocation, the resources it would require or a step-by-step plan. But the current thinking is that the relocation would send the Afghans to a third country while their visa process — known as Special Immigrant Visas — is completed, though a decision on which country would serve as the Afghans’ temporary home has not yet been made. Several people familiar with the discussions have pointed to Guam as an option.
The relocation plan would only apply to those who are already being processed, though that could shift if the administration sees a major uptick in visa applications in the weeks ahead, one official said. The proposal would also allow for family members of the applicants to join them.
The plan, first reported by The New York Times, is being finalized after several weeks of an opaque process that has frustrated lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and coincides with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s scheduled visit with President Joe Biden on Friday at the White House. Members of Congress were meeting with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Thursday morning about the Afghan visa issue and other matters related to the withdrawal, sources said.
At a press conference Thursday, Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat, said the “news this morning that the Biden administration recognizes that the existing visa process will not be sufficient to meet this need and there ne
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