COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's Note: The above video is from a previously published story
On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that 855 Afghan evacuees will be coming to Ohio as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program.
The first group of Afghan evacuees totals 37,000 individuals nationwide.
The placements will be to eight local resettlement agencies, with more than half of the evacuees coming to Northeast Ohio.
- US Together (Cleveland) - 85
- Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services (Cleveland) - 100
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Imigrants Cleveland (Cleveland) - 100
- International Institute of Akron (Akron) - 150
DeWine says placements are expected to occur over the next six months. Additional Afghan evacuees will be placed at locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo.
“These are individuals who have been partners with United States and deserve our support in return for the support they’ve given us,” said Governor DeWine. “Thank you to the resettlement agencies and communities who have stepped forward and demonstrated they have the resources necessary to help these individuals in their time of need.”
The purpose of the federal APA Program is to provide newly arrived Afghans with initial relocation services as they begin to rebuild their lives in the United States. The federal government is screening and vetting particpants in this program. These are individuals who have not yet received refugee status, nor a special immigrant visa. They are arriving to the U.S. under a legal mechanism known as humanitarian parole.
Managed by the federal government, humanitarian parole provides temporary authorization to enter the U.S., based on humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. Details of the program can be found here.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Refugee Services Program has been working with local resettlement agencies to provide the federal government with information on capacity. While individuals are authorized to work, State-provided resources are limited to two narrow types. Children under the age of 18 who are granted humanitarian parolee status are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Additionally, children under the age of 21 and pregnant women are eligible for Medicaid.