COMBATING terrorism entails considerable dangers and threats, especially extremist groups like the Taliban and ISIS. The Taliban has held power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 until it was overthrown by coalition forces.
After Canada withdrew its troops from Afghanistan since 2011, and U.S.’s recent withdrawal, Taliban has been planning its reclamation of districts. Not only this insurgency jeopardizes Middle East’s political stability, but it also renders the lives of Afghans who assisted Canada at risk. In response to this situation, the Government of Canada announced on Friday, July 23 that a special refugee resettlement program for Afghans who contributed to Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan.
To qualify for resettlement, an Afghan must either: worked as an interpreter for Canada, or worked to support the Canadian embassy. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will work conjointly with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Department of National Defence (DND) on identifying and assisting eligible Afghans’ resettlement to Canada. More cases referred to IRCC by GAC and DND are currently under urgent process. One noteworthy point to make is that the definition for “support” is set deliberately broad in scope so that it applies to various roles, including security guards, cooks, cleaners, drivers, and local staff who assisted the embassy. In addition, family members of eligible individuals are also granted refugee resettlement.
As Taliban regains control over the territory, draconian persecutions have been carried out on people who helped coalition forces. The dire situation at hand led a group of Canadian veterans to urge the Government of Canada to take immediate actions to honor the moral obligation the country owes to courageous Afghans. As addressed by IRCC Minister Marco E.L. Mendicino, the expected arrival of resettled Afghans to Canada will happen “very shortly.”
Furthermore, Minister Mendicino estimated that eligible candidates under the program will be in the “thousands.” However, details on specific procedures are scarce, as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan addressed their reservations on providing further specifics for “operational security.”
Note that resettlement applicants must meet the following criteria:
- All usual admissibility requirements;
- Security, criminal and health screenings; and
- Existing COVID-19 public health policies and safety protocols.