Story and photo via International Rescue Committee, San Diego
August 25, 2021 (San Diego) -- The United States has begun a humanitarian evacuation and is relocating a group of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants to San Diego. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in San Diego is working alongside communities and partners to support Afghans living in San Diego.
SIV evacuees are interpreters, medical personnel and community members who served the U.S. government during the war in Afghanistan. The IRC has resettled more than 16,000 Afghan SIV recipients since Congress established the program in 2006, and is committed to ensuring that these families are given a chance to seek safety and rebuild their lives in the United States.
“San Diego County has been a preferred destination because of the area’s vibrant Afghan community. The IRC is prepared to welcome and support incoming SIVs who might be assigned to our office for resettlement support. In addition, we are able to welcome and serve SIV walk-ins,” a press release from the IRC in San Diego states.
Here are four ways you can support our Afghan neighbors in San Diego:
- Donate locally to the IRC in San Diego. As we continue to receive new SIV clients into San Diego, we are working with local communities and partners to provide housing support, making sure their kids are enrolled in school and these families are receiving the medical care they need. Please consider becoming a monthly donor at any amount to help our local, San Diego-based staff continue serving refugees from Afghanistan and other crisis zones around the world. No donation is too small! Rescue.org/GiveSD
- Show Afghans your support. Afghan community members in San Diego are courageously sharing their stories in the media. Follow us at @IRCSanDiego on Twitter and Facebook as we continue to uplift these stories as well as local events organized by the Afghan community.
- Welcome a refugee. Open your home as a place of refuge for emergency temporary housing with IRC’s partner Airbnb.org’s Open Homes Program.
- Advocate and raise your voice. Call and email President Joe Biden and your Members of Congress and demand they protect vulnerable Afghans in need of safety, including those who risked their lives to serve with the US. Take action at Rescue.org/Act.