The Afghanistan war was an epic disaster. Nothing good came of it. The least we can do as we evacuate, however, is to help all the Afghanis who helped us and who are now under death threat from the Taliban. But our record on Afghan refugees is shameful. At right from Daniel Bier is a chart of Afghan refugees resettled in the United States–604 last year 494 this year (data here). There are more Afghan immigrants accepted under other programs (not just the refugee program) and we have made motions to accept more but it may now be too late.
Canada in contrast is accepting 20,000 refugees.
Canada plans to resettle more than 20,000 vulnerable Afghans including women leaders, human rights workers and reporters to protect them from Taliban reprisals, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said on Friday.
The effort is in addition to an earlier initiative to welcome thousands of Afghans who worked for the Canadian government, such as interpreters, embassy workers and their families, he told a news conference.
“As the Taliban continues to take over more of Afghanistan, many more Afghans’ lives are under increasing threat,” he said. He did not provide a timetable.
Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said some Canadian special forces were in Afghanistan taking part in the relocation effort but gave no details.
“The challenges on the ground are quite immense,” he said.