LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The fall of Afghanistan has found its way to Nevada. On Tuesday, 13 Action News confirmed that hundreds of refugees are preparing to call the silver state home.
“As of right now, we’re projected to receive 565 refugees as well as 85 SIV’s but I do want to be clear that we don’t necessarily know how many are going to come from Afghanistan,” said Carisa Lopez-Ramirez, vice president of immigration and migration services at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.
In the next few weeks, an additional 150 Afghan parolees will be welcomed into the state. 100 of those parolees will be received in northern Nevada. 50 of the parolees will be housed in Southern Nevada.
In late August, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken authorized "humanitarian parole" for Afghans. The process allows Afghans to escape the Taliban and come to the United States, but it does not offer permanent legal status or access to refugee services.
Lopez-Ramirez said Catholic Charities is preparing to act as a safe haven for refugees.
“We’re definitely prepared to resettle them whatever capacity they're in,” Lopez-Ramirez said.
“My staff at the Governor’s Office for New Americans are working around the clock to ensure that our refugee resettlement agencies receive the support necessary from the state in the resettlement process of Afghan parolees under this new program, and the Afghan refugees and SIVs coming to our state,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Nevada is and will continue to be a welcoming state for all. I am proud of our long-standing tradition of resettling refugees and other eligible populations fleeing from persecution fearing for theirs and their families’ lives and safety, and we stand ready to support the resettlement efforts in our state and the Afghan families seeking refuge in Nevada.”
Lopez-Ramirez said the parolees and SIV’s (Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans) will be housed in military bases nationwide before making their way into the state of Nevada.