Statement by Welcome.US on One-Year Anniversary of the Fall of Kabul
August 15, 2022
On August 15, 2021, Kabul fell, and the United States faced the unprecedented challenge of welcoming nearly 80,000 Afghan evacuees in just a few months. Reflecting on this past year,
Welcome.US released a memo on the work to welcome our new Afghan neighbors over the past year and CEO Nazanin Ash issued the following statement.
“One year ago, Kabul fell, and tens of thousands of our Afghan allies sought immediate safety in the United States. The crisis overwhelmed the traditional resettlement infrastructure, but Americans felt the urgency of the moment and clamored to answer the call. Veterans, congregations, private sector leaders, Afghan-American and diaspora organizations, high school students and entire communities welcomed 80,000 Afghans – to our cities and towns; to our workplaces and houses of worship; to our neighborhoods, schools, playgrounds and homes.
“Together, they acted to fulfill this country’s promise as a beacon of safety to those fleeing oppression and danger. At an unprecedented scale and speed, they forged a new model to welcome newcomers to the United States – a whole-of-country response.
“But the work is not yet done – newcomers continue to face immense challenges while getting integrated into their new lives, and ensuring they are able to thrive requires not only a movement of welcome – but innovation in the way we approach resettlement. The long-term success of our new Afghan neighbors, and our long-term success as a nation of welcomers, rests on capitalizing on our learnings from this past year and approaching refugee resettlement in a radical new way: the overhaul of our traditional refugee resettlement system by providing on-ramps for American communities to be partners in this work.
“The American people are leading the way on this change – proving once again that our communities have an ability and will for bringing us closer to the best version of America, in ways that are often far ahead of our politicians and national policies. Welcome.US will continue to work on the innovations that are remaking how we as a nation welcome newcomers – from housing and household supplies to hiring to legal services to sponsorship – and that will ensure that the participation of everyday Americans becomes an enduring part of our nation’s capacity to welcome. In this way, we hope to build on American compassion to foster resilient communities with the commitment to welcome more newcomers and help them thrive.”
Those interested in helping our new Afghan neighbors rebuild, can take an act of welcome right now by donating to Welcome Essentials – a registry of home supplies still needed by newcomers.